Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “Grey’s Anatomy”

May 15, 2014  |  
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“Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body”

“Grey’s Anatomy” has been Shonda Rhimes’ prized possession for 10 seasons now! And for good reasons, the show has stood the test of time. And along the way interesting behind-the-scenes drama and cool facts about the cast and production have come to the light. Unlike the drama on the show, you all might not know about the some of the cool trivia of one of the most popular series on TV. Did you know the show’s name is a play on the medical anatomy journal, “Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body” by Henry Gray?



As season 10 comes to a close tonight, MadameNoire collects 15 secrets behind the making of the show you might not know or simply didn’t realize.

Episode Titles

Did you know “Grey’s Anatomy” names each episode after a popular song? This past season’s episodes were named “Thriller,” “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” and “Somebody That I Used To Know,” for example.

Color Blind

I bet you’re wondering why the medical drama is so diverse…. not tokenism passed off as diversity, but actual diversity! It’s because Shonda Rhimes is the producer and she uses a color blind technique to cast.

Dr. Alex Karev

Karev (played by Justin Chambers) wasn’t originally in the pilot episode. He was added to give the pilot an annoyance or foil. Plus, he was added to give the Dr. George O’Malley character (played by T.R. Knight) a male companion, although they weren’t friends. His scenes were re-shot or digitally altered to add him.

Dr. Mark Sloan

The character Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) is a reference to Dick Van Dyke character’s name from “Diagnosis Murder” (1993).

Rob Lowe

Lowe was considered for the part of Dr. Derek Shepherd, but turned it down.

Sandra Oh as Dr. Bailey?

Sandra Oh auditioned for Dr. Bailey, but got the part of Dr. Yang and Isaiah Washington auditioned for Dr. Shepherd, but got the part of Dr. Burke.

Dr. Bailey a blonde?

Shonda Rhimes imagined Dr. Bailey as a blonde, but due to that color blind casting code, Chandra Wilson got the part.

Secrecy of Storylines

The main characters’ names are changed in auditions. This is to keep the plot and storylines secret.

Kate Walsh’s Promotion

Kate Walsh who played Dr. Addison Montgomery was supposed to be in a five-episode story arc before developing a fan base and staying on the show as a regular. As you all know, she got her own spinoff, “Private Practice.”

“House M.D.”

Patrick Dempsey really wanted to play a doctor. He auditioned for the role of Dr. Chase on “House M.D.” before getting the part of Dr. Shepherd.


The original interns Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Alex (Justin Chambers), George (T.R. Knight), Izzie (Katherine Heigl) and Cristina (Sandra Oh) spelled the word “MAGIC.”

Fisher Plaza

Fisher Plaza houses Seattle’s ABC affiliate KOMO-TV and is used to shoot exteriors of Seattle Grace Hospital. But the hospital used for the majority of exterior shots is not in Seattle.

T.R. Knight

It’s safe to say everyone in the world knows Isaiah Washington was fired from “Grey’s Anatomy” for that homophobic controversy. Or how Katherine Heigl became difficult to work with as she became a movie star, dropping out of Emmy nomination pool, eventually leaving the show.

But, a lot of people don’t know why T.R. Knight left. Knight felt like his character wasn’t getting enough screen time or depth, so he asked to be written off of the show. He was killed off in the season finale of season five.


“Grey’s Anatomy” was originally called “Complications.” I’m glad they changed the name…

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