is an American television medical drama
that premiered on the American Broadcasting Company
(ABC), as a mid-season replacement
on March 27, 2005. The series has aired nine seasons (currently halfway through its tenth season), and focuses on the fictional lives of surgical interns
, as they gradually evolve into seasoned doctors, while trying to maintain personal lives. The show's premise originated with Shonda Rhimes
, who serves as an executive producer, along with Betsy Beers
, Mark Gordon
, Krista Vernoff
, Rob Corn
, Mark Wilding
, and Allan Heinberg
. The series was created to be racially diverse, utilizing a color-blind casting
technique. It is primarily filmed in Los Angeles
The series' protagonist is Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who originally is accepted into the residency program at the fictional Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. Meredith is assigned to work under Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), along with Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), George O'Malley (T. R. Knight), Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). Following O'Malley's death and Stevens' departure, they are replaced by Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and April Kepner (Sarah Drew), in the sixth season. The surgical wing is primitively supervised by Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), who is eventually replaced by Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), and later Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) departs at the conclusion of the third season, and is replaced by Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith), who leaves the show during the fifth season, and later Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), who departs at the end of the eighth season. Introduced in the second season is Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), who leaves the show at the end of the third season, in order to launch her own spin-off medical drama Private Practice. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) also enter the show in the second season, while half-sister of Meredith, Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), first appears in season three and dies at the end of season eight. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) is given series regular status at the beginning of the sixth season.
Holding the title of television's highest-rated drama, Grey's Anatomy was among the top-ten rated shows in the United States from its first through fourth seasons. Although the ratings have declined, the show has never dropped out of the top twelve in the target 18–49 demographic. Considered an impact on culture, the series has received numerous awards, and has also been included in various critics' top ten lists. The show has produced several specials and a musical episode, as well as distributed all seasons to DVD, and released a collection of merchandise. In 2011, Grey's Anatomy was named the fourth-highest revenue earning show, in terms of advertising per half-hour. On May 11, 2012, the series was renewed for a ninth season, which premiered on September 27.