One of ABC Signature’s top showtunners, Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, Rebel) is staying put with a new multi-year overall deal for her company Trip the Light Productions. Closing a new big two-year pact with Vernoff represents a key piece of the complex effort to bring Grey’s Anatomy back for Season 18.
The other is closing new pacts with original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr.. Negotiations with the trio continue, and there have been promising signs, with Pompeo believed to be nearing an agreement. Securing the actors would seal a renewal, which is coming down the wire, with Vernoff planning for a season and series finale as production on Season 17 is winding down.
Vernoff, who has led Grey’s Anatomy‘s resurgence over the last several seasons, is executive producer and showrunner on three ABC series, Grey’s Anatomy and spinoff Station 19, both from ABC Signature, and freshman Rebel, which ABC Signature co-produces with Sony Pictures TV.
“Krista Vernoff is a superstar who makes the almost impossible task of running three shows seem like a reasonable amount of work. I am honestly in awe of her,” said Dana Walden, Walt Disney Television Chairman of Entertainment. “Everyone at the studio and network is grateful for the tremendous job she’s done on the amazing Shondaland shows, and we are proud to be launching Krista’s first creation, Rebel, on ABC in two weeks. The optimism, intellectual curiosity and quest for social justice embodied in its title character are traits that could easily apply to Krista herself, and those are just a few of the qualities that make us feel lucky to work with her every day.”
When Rebel premieres April 8, Vernoff will join the elite ranks of showrunners who oversee an entire night of television with ABC’s Thursday lineup, consisting of Shondaland’s Station 19 at 8 PM and Grey’s Anatomy at 9 PM, followed by Rebel at 10 PM.
Vernoff, who will continue to serve as president of Trip the Light Prods., executive produces Rebel with her producing partner — and husband — Alexandre Schmitt who serves as president of production and development for Trip the Light. The company has brought in Kasha Foster as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In the new position, she will work closely with writers, talent, and producers, providing guidance throughout the storytelling process from script to screen.
“We’re so grateful for the enthusiastic support and creative freedom afforded us by Dana, Jonnie (Davis), and all our wonderful partners at ABC Signature,” Vernoff said. “We’re thrilled to continue and deepen our relationship with the studio – we couldn’t think of a better place to call home.”
Vernoff, whose series credits also include Shameless and Private Practice, is repped by UTA and Jeanne Newman at Hansen Jacobson.