How California Wildfires Affected Production on the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Firefighter Spinoff

TCA 2018: Shonda Rhimes’ technical advisors had better places to be than stuck in production meetings

Last Updated: January 15, 2018 @ 2:45 PM

The 2017 California wildfires indirectly impacted one Hollywood production in a particularly unique way. The upcoming (and still untitled) “Grey’s Anatomy” firefighter spinoff had to press pause on some production meetings while their technical advisors recently played the role of real heroes, executive producer Paris Barclay told reporters on Monday.

“We actually have a lot of real firefighter advisors to the writers,” he said at ABC’s Television Critics Association press tour. “We’ve had production meetings … when they couldn’t actually get to the production meeting because they were actually fighting the California fires.”

“And then we had to come back and send a text and figure out what’s going on,” Barclay continued. “A lot of what we do is informed by these real firefighters, who are technical advisors who work here in L.A. and on their off days they come and they help us make the show.”

The “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff will follow Jason George’s character, Dr. Ben Warren, as he switches careers from surgeon to firefighter.

The upcoming ABC series, which comes to us from Shonda Rhimes by way of showrunner Stacy McKee, will have a special two-hour premiere on Thursday, March 22 from 9-11 p.m. It will then settle into a regular Thursday 9 p.m. airtime (after — you guessed it — “Grey’s Anatomy”).