Ellen Pompeo shared the first photo from set with newly promoted series regular Richard Floodas filming kicked off Tuesday on season 17 in Los Angeles.In the selfie, which shows the duo wearing medical face masks in the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, Pompeo dedicated the upcoming season to the health care workers.
"First time back in my scrubs...," the 50-year-old actress captioned the on-set pic. "Since we shut down filming 7000 healthcare workers have died from Covid. I dedicate my season 17 to all who have fallen and to everyone of you who by the grace of God is still standing..."
"This season is for you with humility and a bit of humor to get us through and endless amounts of gratitude," Pompeo's message continued. "I hope we do you proud."
Grey's is just one of the latest major TV shows returning to production Tuesday after filming shut down in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was forced to cut its 16th season short by four episodes, leaving several storylines unresolved.
Last month, Grey's star Giacomo Gianniotti revealed to ET that season 17 -- which incorporates coronavirus into the world of the show -- would pick up with a bit of a time jump, as the action begins with Grey Sloan and its doctors about "a month and a half" into the pandemic. He also hinted that production was being eyed for a September start after being pushed from a late August date.
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"We're going to start the season about a month and a half [into] full COVID, so it's going to take place a little beyond where we left off in the last season," Gianniotti said. "We might have some flashbacks. We might have some things where we're referencing last season, just to have context leading up. But we are going to have a little leap when we start this season in terms of time. We're not picking up right where we left off."
Gianniotti also offered a preview of what the new reality will look like for the cast and crew of Grey's on set in a COVID-19 world.
"Our producers are all rapidly trying to implement all of these protocols to keep everybody safe. We're obviously going to be tested multiple times a week and sort of separated in zones. We're going to have a lot less personnel on set. We're going to be wearing full PPE [personal protective equipment] of course," Gianniotti said. "It's a new world."
"There's a learning curve for any show. We're uniquely lucky that we get to wear PPE because we play doctors, so for other shows that aren't in the doctor world I really feel for them because that's an added challenge that they have to face," he added. "But I'm really hoping that we can figure it out and keep producing this amazing show that so many fans love to watch."
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