A Hard Day's Night (Grey's Anatomy)

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"A Hard Day's Night"
Grey's Anatomy episode
Grey's Anatomy Season 1 Cast.jpg
The cast of the first season of Grey's Anatomy, all of whom appear in the pilot episode.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1
Directed by Peter Horton
Written by Shonda Rhimes
Featured music "Cosy in the Rocket"
"Portions for Foxes"
"Super Cool"
"Ready to Rise"
"Life is Short"
"Into the Fire"
Original air date March 27, 2005 (2005-03-27)
Running time 43 minutes
Guest actors
  • Kate Burton as Ellis Grey
  • Moe Irvin as Tyler Christian
  • Martin Ighani as Rectal Exam Patient
  • Billy Wood as Senior Resident
  • Josh Bywater as Intern No. 1
Episode chronology
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Grey's Anatomy (season 1)
List of Grey's Anatomy episodes

"A Hard Day's Night" is the pilot episode of the American television medical drama Grey's Anatomy, which first aired on March 27, 2005 on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC).[1] The episode introduces main characters and surgical interns Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, Izzie Stevens, Alex Karev and George O'Malley.[2][3] Other main cast members include Derek Shepherd, Miranda Bailey, Richard Webber and Preston Burke.[4] These five interns become faced with what their future holds as they enter the realm of surgery at Seattle Grace Hospital.[2]

The episode was watched by an American audience of 16.25 million,[5] and received positive reviews from television critics.[6]


The first 48-hour shift for the surgical residents is chronicled, in which Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) meets surgeon Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) after a one-night stand the night before,[7] only to discover he's her boss.[8] All the interns are introduced to their resident in charge, Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), nicknamed "The Nazi" for her controlling personality and ability to terrify interns.[9] They are also introduced to the Chief of Surgery Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) and the head of cardiothoracic surgery Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington), who catches the eye of Cristina (Sandra Oh).[10] Meredith has trouble with her first case; a teenage girl who's having seizures. George (T.R. Knight) earns the nickname "007" after all of his very first patients are pronounced dead.[11] Izzie (Katherine Heigl) dislikes Meredith as she thinks she's trying to "get ahead" by sleeping with an attending surgeon;[12] it is revealed Izzie had a past career in modeling and that is how she put herself through medical school,[13] and she is teased by Alex (Justin Chambers).

Meredith is the daughter of acclaimed surgeon Ellis Grey (Kate Burton),[14] who evidently had an affair with Richard years prior while married to Meredith's father, Thatcher.[15] It is revealed Ellis is now battling Alzheimer's disease and Richard is a frequent visitor of hers.[16]


The voice-over starting the episode did not originally appear in the episode; Rhimes said: "In the editing room, it felt like a piece was missing, so we added it."[17]


ReviewStream.com gave positive reviews regarding the pilot episode, due to the undeniable chemistry between Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey from the series' first scene.[6] Regarding Miranda Bailey's appearance in the pilot, ReviewStream.com stated "She's such a small woman but wait until she speaks".[6] HomeTheaterInfo.com, however, had a mixed perspectives on the pilot, noting that the storylines were similar to fellow ABC series Desperate Housewives, but also "brilliantly written, extremely well acted and directed to near perfection".[18] New York Daily News named Grey's Anatomy a "winner" in response to its first season,[19] whereas Newsday expressed a positive opinion by stating "You simply can't stop watching."[19]


  1. ^ "Grey's Anatomy Episode Guide 2005 Season 1 - A Hard Day's Night". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Grey's Anatomy - Season 1, Episode 1: A Hard Day's Night - TV.com". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "About the Show - Grey's Anatomy - ABC.com". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Grey's Anatomy Cast & Character Bios - ABC.com". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Weekly Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. March 29, 2005. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "Grey’s Anatomy Season 1 Pilot Episode A Hard Day’s Night Out". reviewstream.com. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Derek Shepherd - Biography - Meredith and Derek Online". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Meredith Grey - Biography - Meredith and Derek Online". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Miranda Bailey - Grey's Anatomy". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Cristina Yang Bio - TV Fanatic". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "George O'Malley Bio - TV Fanatic". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "Izzie Stevens Bio - TV Fanatic". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Izzie Stevens - Grey's Anatomy character Izzie Stevens". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Meredith Grey Bio - TV Fanatic". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) Bio - Grey's Anatomy - ABC.com". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Richard Webber - Grey's Anatomy". Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (April 26, 2006). "'Anatomy' has all the right parts". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Grey's Anatomy: Season One". HomeTheaterInfo.com. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b The reviews by New York Daily News and Newsday can be found on the DVD's back cover.