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Grey's Anatomy Showrunner Krista Vernoff Previews "Really Intense" Season 17

Grey's Anatomy executive producer Krista Vernoff is prepping for an exciting Season 17. In a chat with TV Insider, the showrunner opened up about how the medical soap will handle COVID-19...and balance "really intense" storylines with "comfort."

RELATED: Grey's Anatomy Executive Producer Krista Vernoff Says Season 17 Will Tackle COVID-19

Vernoff explained:

Our goal this year is to reflect the reality of the medical community while finding ways to have humor and joy, romance, and sex. While the pandemic impacts the hospital in really intense ways, we also need to provide some relief and comfort.

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Here's what we can expect for our Seattle Grace faves, which will air in two timelines: one in the present, one as a flashback. The two-hour season premiere of Grey's airs Nov. 12 at 9 PM EST.

Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is knee-deep in the battle against COVID-19, so she's put any possible romance with Cormac (Richard Flood) on hold for now. We'll also find out what happened to Mer's ex, Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), who was battling bipolar disorder the last time we saw him.

After overhearing Teddy (Kim Raver) cheating on their wedding day, Owen (Kevin McKidd) nixed the impending nuptials. Now we'll see the emotional fallout for both docs, especially in the flashback timeline. Jo (Camilla Luddington) has got a new roommate: surgical resident Levi (Jake Borelli). Vernoff described their bond as "an unexpected and joyful friendship." 

Meanwhile, Maggie (Kelly McCreary) reconnects with former colleague Winston (Anthony Hill). Their burgeoning relationship leads Winston, "a grounded, compassionate doctor with father issues," to ask Maggie to move to Boston. But she's not going anywhere, Vernoff explained: “They’re carrying on a long-distance romance.”

Miranda (Chandra Wilson) and Ben (Jason George) come under pressure when they must quarantine separately to protect their kids. But the good doc gets super-stressed as she works 'round the clock to save patients. Finally, things look like they're going well for Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), Link (Chris Carmack), and their new bundle of joy. Will the baby be named after Amelia's late brother, Derek (Patrick Dempsey)? Find out in the season premiere!