Station 19, the ABC and Shondaland firefighter spinoff of Grey’s Anatomy, made its way to Austin for its first ATX Television Festival appearance with stars Jaina Lee Ortiz and Jason George in tow along with show creator Stacy McKee and Shondaland casting director Linda Lowy.
On the topic of Season 2, McKee teased that “there will be the same amount of heart and humor and action, plus way more. Now we’ve met the characters… we can dig even deeper. We’ve barely scratched the surface.” To that last point, George added, “I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of Grey’s world interacting with the Station 19 world and vice versa — that’s just getting started.”
McKee confirmed such interactions would “definitely” happen.
Still, Station 19 is finding its own voice in the Shonda-verse. “It was really important that this show worked as a companion piece with Grey’s but also had a very distinct voice,” McKee said. “It’s about being a nice sister to Grey’s but a sister with a little bit of edge. The one nice thing about the kinds of stories we tell is they run into fires and there’s a lot more action than there typically is on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and that automatically heightens the stakes storytelling-wise. It’s keeping the same tone and sensibility but heighten things a bit.”
In reference to the Station 19 finale cliffhanger, she hinted that like Grey’s Anatomy, no one is ever safe. “Yes, anyone could die at any time,” McKee said. “That’s the nature of the job, and if you’ve ever watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy you know.”
During the discussion, the panel also highlighted the importance of inclusive casting, from the start a staple element of Shondaland programs. “I feel that’s the gift that we are able to represent what you go out and to see every day,” said Lowy. “We try to do that from the co-stars right up into the series regulars.”
For Ortiz, being and portraying a Latina lead character on a network series serves a bigger purpose. “It’s another door of opportunity for the next generation.”
Station 19 returns in the fall.