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Grey's Anatomy made history on Thursday night as it surpassed E.R. as the longest-running medical drama on TV. 332 episodes earlier, however, the show was just a pilot starring Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Patrick Dempsey, T.R. Knight, Katherine Heigl and more.
In honor of the series' incredible milestone, Shonda Rhimes shared a few photos she snapped while filming the show's first-ever episode. The cast is full of enthusiasm in everything from candid behind-the-scenes shots to filming fan-favorite moments to posing for their first-ever photo shoot.
Check out the incredible throwback photos -- posted to Shondaland.com -- as well as Rhimes' descriptions, below.
"This is what I call the cutest pic ever. One of my favorite pics because Ellen just seems so happy to be at work," Rhimes wrote.
"Sandra is an intense actress," Rhimes captioned a photo of Oh with director Peter Horton. "She and Peter would have long conversations about her character before each scene. That intensity is how she made Cristina so amazing."
"This was the beginning. The cast was in the middle of one of their first fancy photo shoots with a real photographer. And I snapped this photo of the moment. It's blurry, but that somehow made it feel slightly magical to me," she said.
Rhimes wrote of the above pic, "George and Meredith console each other after making mistakes. It's their first moment of friendship and one of my favorite scenes of the pilot."
"T.R., Sandra, Ellen, Patrick, and Isaiah [Washington] chat between takes," Rhimes said. "I realized that these were their moments to get to know each other in real life."
"Days on set were just long. I was lying on the floor on set when I caught this shot of Derek and Meredith mid-scene," she added.
"With the 300th episode, we looked backward. It was a very nostalgic episode. It paid tribute to the whole length of the series. With this episode, we made the decision to look forward, and to celebrate how far we've come, and how far we have yet to go," Vernoff said. "And so, Bailey's speech to Catherine of 'We don't know what the future holds, but no one ever knows what the future holds." People still love us, we're still here, and that's cause for celebration,' was really the theme. We threw a party to celebrate this milestone. And we wanted to do something different than we had ever done before."
"There was a lot of brainstorming, and what we came up with was we had never done an episode with no medicine. I think this episode is probably a little bewildering to watch after 15 seasons of Grey's Anatomy," she continued. "You keep waiting for the medical crisis that never comes. That's how we decided to break new ground with this episode, while also emotionally laying the groundwork for the stories moving forward."
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.