Facts From a TV Junkie: 'Grey's Anatomy'

Hello all! Chances are if you're reading this it means you, much like myself, are addicted to TV. You just can't ever get enough of that small screen action! Well, I'm here to tell you that I feel your pain and would like to help you in your noble quest for TV knowledge, which is why I've taken it upon myself to create this fun, weekly feature. Every week, I will dig up new and interesting facts about a show and share them with you right here. So sit back, relax, and let the trivia madness commence!

This week, I thought it would be fun to dive into some details surrounding one of the most beloved medical dramas currently on television: 'Grey's Anatomy.' From high-stake surgeries to inner-office love affairs, this show always manages to accelerate our heart rates and keep everyone's tissue stock in short supply. (Seriously, this show should be investing in Kleenex or something.) And for better or worse, these characters have become our "person" just as we've become theirs. But despite the series' impressive 10-year-run, there's still plenty to learn about our favorite TV surgeons. Such as…

Did You Know:

1. Main character names are changed during auditions.

Grey's Anatomy cast poster

As many of you are probably already aware, 'Grey's Anatomy' goes through a tremendous amount of guest stars, most of whom play hospital patients. So as a way to keep the plot and storylines a secret to those auditioning, all of the main character names get altered in the script. That way those rejected won't be able to give too much away. How stealthy of them!

2. Sandra Oh initially auditioned for the part of Dr. Miranda Bailey.

Sandra Oh in Grey's Anatomy

Granted, it isn't hard to picture Oh bossing everyone around and acting like the hospital's most hardcore surgeon. Heck, Cristina Yang does that on a daily basis. But as much as I love her OR badassery, there's just no replacing Chandra Wilson's no-nonsense Nazi version of Dr. Bailey. She just fits so well into the part. The perfect Yin to Cristina's Yang. (Get it?)

3. Alex Karev was not in the original pilot script.

Justin Chambers in Grey's Anatomy

Ever wonder why you don't see too much of Karev during the show's premiere episode? That's because he wasn't originally intended to be there at all. His role was inserted later on because the writers wanted to provide a male companion for Dr. George O'Malley. (So by companion, they must mean person to whom give Syphilis to, right?) Since he wasn't added into the show until after the pilot was shot, scenes with him were either re-shoots or digitally altered.

4. Every episode is named after a song title by a popular artist.

Grey's Anatomy intro

In fact, several are named after The Beatles and R.E.M. songs. Just go through the show's full episode list and see for yourself.

5. Speaking of names, the show's title is actually named after a book.

Henry Gray's Anatomy book

'Grey's Anatomy' is a direct reference to the famous anatomy book called 'Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body' written by Henry Gray himself. As for why the writers felt the need to change "Gray" to "Grey" still remains unclear. Or should I say, a little "grey"?

6. Kate Waslsh's character, Addison Shepherd, was only supposed to appear in five episodes.

Kate Walsh in Grey's Anatomy

However, when the role ended up cultivating a rather wide fan base, the writers decided to keep her on for an extended period, which eventually led to her very own spin-off series, 'Private Practice.' And to think we were almost robbed of all that delightful Addison goodness. (*shudders*) Not to mention those awesome salmon scrubs!

7. Isaiah Washington, who played Dr. Preston Burke, originally tried out for the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd.

Isaiah Washington in Grey's Anatomy

But given the eventual drama which culminated in the actor's firing after Season 3, I think it's for the best that the very handsome (though some may say dreamy) Patrick Dempsey took up the role instead. Sorry, but Dr. Burke's real-life actions were so not McDreamy.

8. There's a 'Grey's Anatomy' novel that centers around Joe the Bartender and Nurse Debbie.

Nurse Debbie and Joe the Bartender in Grey's Anatomy

The mere fact that this exists makes me so happy. Has anyone ever read it? The producers released the novel back in 2006 as a double-sided book written in a blog/IM format that basically consists of the two characters gossiping about all the drama that goes on between our beloved doctors. (Who needs a water cooler when there's the Internet, right?) The events discussed also provide some pretty interesting background information about Joe and Debbie's lives as well.

9. The show was originally supposed to be called 'Complications.'

Sandra Oh, Sara Ramirez, and Ellen Pompeo in Grey's Anatomy

If I had to pick one word to sum up this show it would probably be this, but 'Grey's Anatomy' still just seems to have a better ring to it, don't you think? Though I could be a bit biased given my years-long dedication to the series. (I still refuse to call the hospital anything but Seattle Grace.)

10. Patrick Dempsey auditioned for the role of Dr. Chase on 'House M.D.'

House M.D. poster

He certainly appears to gravitate toward those "handsome doctor" roles, doesn't he? Luckily, Dempsey didn't end up with the part, which allowed him to easily slip into the role as our lovable McDreamy. Though I have to admit, the thought of him taking orders from Gregory House does sound a little enticing. Can we get a Hugh Laurie guest star appearance, STAT?!

11. Dr. Mark Sloan is a reference to Dick Van Dyke.

Diagnosis Murder cast photo

Or at least to his character from the former medical hit drama 'Diagnosis Murder.' On the show, Van Dyke played a doctor with the same exact name at Community General Hospital. Does this make him the original McSteamy? I think Mark Sloan would definitely approve.

12. Rob Lowe was considered for the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd.

Rob Lowe in Parks and Recreation

However, he decided to pass on the part, which was LITERALLY the best decision he ever made since it allowed him to be free for the role of Chris Traeger on 'Parks and Recreation.' So even though Lowe would've certainly looked good in a set of scrubs (seriously, just picture it), I can't really complain with how things turned out.

I hope you enjoyed this week's installment of Facts From a TV Junkie. Check back next week for another fix!

'The Vampire Diaries' < Previous | Next > Stay tuned!

- Patrick Dempsey
- Ellen Pompeo
- Justin Chambers
- Chandra Wilson
- Grey's Anatomy

Written by: Kelly_Schremph
Nov 11th, 2013, 9:52 am

Images courtesy of ABC


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Message Posted On Nov 11th, 2013, 3:09 pm

Thanks, it's always nice to get a bit of trivia on a show, keep it going.


Btw would you have any on any other shows eg: Seinfeld, Frasier or Friends.



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