Crossovers once were usually a major event. They didn’t happen frequently, and sometimes they were totally unexpected (remember Bones and Sleepy Hollow‘s crossover?). Now, however, with more and more shared universes popping up in primetime (Dick Wolf’s CBS and NBC shows are now connected), that’s all changed. Smaller crossovers have become more frequent, as we’ve seen in recent seasons with Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19.
From patients to relationships, we often need to tune in to two hours of ABC dramas to get the full story. Victims on calls on the firefighter spinoff (which premiered in 2018) end up at the hospital on Grey’s on quite a few occasions, which meant getting to follow them and find out if they lived or died after getting dropped off. That’s not something we get on all first responder dramas.
Meanwhile, the two shows have backed off of the crossover romances a bit. Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and doctor-turned-firefighter Ben Warren (Jason George) are still going strong. Stefania Spampinato moved over to Station 19 and became a series regular on there in Season 4, with her character, Dr. Carina DeLuca, and firefighter captain Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre) marrying in the finale. Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and firefighter Vic Hughes (Barrett Doss) were briefly involved, though their relationship ended long before his Grey’s exit and she has a bit of a love triangle going on Station 19.
With Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy set to continue to air back-to-back in the 2021-2022 season (now followed by Big Sky on a new night), chances are the crossovers will be part of both in some capacity, and to be honest, we’ve gotten used to them. But should they continue in the same way?
Following the patients’ stories works quite well, as has the recent limiting of the romances (but do not touch Bailey and Ben’s marriage) — especially since it’s likely Station 19 will continue past Grey’s Anatomy. It seems like every season now, we’re wondering if it will be the last of the ABC medical drama, with its fate resting on Ellen Pompeo (who plays Dr. Meredith Grey) signing a new deal. Yes, the crossovers may bring in viewers who otherwise might not tune in to the spinoff, but Station 19 has to be able to stand on its own.
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Station 19, Season 5 Premiere, Thursday, September 30, 8/7c, ABC
Grey’s Anatomy, Season 18 Premiere, Thursday, September 30, 9/8c, ABC