Grey's Anatomy Boss Talks Recent Lack of Shocking Deaths

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Grey's Anatomy was once the deadliest show on television. 

The series said goodbye to a string of characters over the years, but over the last few years, the series has scaled that back. 

Whenever a character is in a terrifying predicament, fans naturally think that the character will be killed off. 

MerDer Final Scene

Death is par for the course on medical dramas, but Grey's Anatomy has been known to take things to another level. 

Fortunately, the showrunner has explained that it was her intention to eliminate the "tragic deaths" fans had become accustomed to. 

Worried Mer  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 14

Krista Vernoff is also showrunner on Grey's spinoff Station 19 and has revealed that she wanted to take the shows in two different directions. 

Speaking to Us Weekly, Vernoff said:

"On Grey's Anatomy, I did the opposite of what we did on Station 19. There had been so many tragic deaths for so many years on Grey's Anatomy that I felt like the most surprising thing I could do, repeatedly, was to not kill someone."

Vernoff admitted that Grey's had become predictable as a result of previous storytelling decisions. 

Boyfriend Blues - tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 14

"Time after time, no matter how many times I've done it, everyone, every time expects that the person who's in danger or threatened in some way is going to die."

"On [Grey's Anatomy] everyone was so used to the shock death that they were always looking for shock death!"

Vernoff said that the best way forward was to dial "up the humor and playfulness."

"I felt like the more surprising thing was to bring the joy and turn up the humor and the playfulness that had, a little bit, fallen out of the show in the wake of Derek's death."

Mer Tattles - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 14

Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) was killed in a vehicle collision back in 2015, and it was one of the biggest deaths to rock the series. 

"That is how I feel like Grey's Anatomy has changed a little since I came back," she continued.

"A lot of characters who might have been dead by now are still alive!"

Grey's Anatomy was reportedly set to kill off a beloved character in the original Grey's Anatomy Season 16 finale, but the COVID-19 shutdown meant that an earlier episode was the season finale instead. 

The Ladies of DeLuca's Life - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 14

All signs are pointing to a reset for Grey's Anatomy Season 17, so the unidentified character will get to live for longer. 

What do you think about the fun approach the series has taken in recent years?

Hit the comments below. 

Remember you can watch Grey's Anatomy online right here via TV Fanatic. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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