Grey’s Anatomy is an American medical drama television series that premiered on American Broadcasting Company (ABC) as a mid-season replacement on March 27, 2005. The series focuses on the fictional lives of surgical interns, residents and attending physicians, as they evolve into seasoned doctors while trying to maintain personal lives and relationships. The title is a play on Gray’s Anatomy, a human anatomy textbook by Henry Gray. The show’s premise originated with Shonda Rhimes, who serves as an executive producer, along with Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Krista Vernoff, Rob Corn, Mark Wilding, and Allan Heinberg. Although it is set in Seattle at the fictional Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital (formerly Seattle Grace) it is primarily filmed in Los Angeles, California. The show was originally titled Complications, a reference to the complicated medical procedures and personal lives of the characters.
The series was created to be racially diverse, utilizing a color-blind casting technique. It revolves around the title character, Dr. Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo. The original cast consisted of nine star-billed actors: Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers, T. R. Knight, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey. The cast has undergone major changes through the show’s run, with many members leaving and being replaced by others. In its twelfth season, the show had a large ensemble of sixteen actors, including four from the original cast. On February 10, 2017, ABC renewed Grey’s Anatomy for a fourteenth season, which will premiere in the fall of 2017. The series’ success catapulted such long-running cast members as Pompeo, Dempsey and Oh to worldwide recognition; they were among the top five highest earning television actors in 2013.
Grey’s Anatomy, even in its thirteenth season, is ABC’s highest-rated drama; although its ratings have fallen over the course of its run (it was once among the overall top 10 shows in the United States), it is still one of the highest rated shows among the 18–49 demographic, and the No. 3 drama on all of broadcast television. Grey’s Anatomy has been well received by critics throughout much of its run, and has been included in various critics’s year-end top ten lists. Since its inception, the show has been described by the media outlets as a television “phenomenon” or a “juggernaut,” owing to its longevity and dominant ratings. It is considered to have had a significant impact on popular culture and has received numerous awards, including the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series — Drama. It has received multiple Emmy nominations, including two for Outstanding Drama Series. Grey’s Anatomy was highest revenue earning show on television, in terms of advertising, in the 2007-08 season; in 2017, it was ranked tenth on the list. It is the longest running scripted primetime show currently airing on ABC, the second-longest scripted primetime ABC show ever, and the second-longest primetime medical drama ever.