Exclusive: Shonda Rhimes Reveals Grey's Anatomy Musical Details
Grey's Anatomy is doing a musical episode.
The ABC medical drama is planning the event for later this season, but don't expect the doctors of Seattle Grace to just burst into song and start dancing down the hospital halls, executive producer Shonda Rhimes tells TVGuide.com exclusively.
Kevin McKidd directing upcoming episode of Grey's Anatomy
Rhimes says the Grey's musical episode will be very different from other shows that have attempted the stunt in the past. She specifically references Buffy the Vampire Slayer's musical episode, which she says is one of her favorites. "[Ours] is sort of the opposite of that in a weird way," Rhimes says. "They did an all-out, show-stopping, Broadway kind of musical. This is very different."
So what is in store? Read on for all the details.
TVGuide.com: Why do a musical episode in Season 7?
Shonda Rhimes: We keep saying that Season 6 and 7 are seasons to try anything and everything that we've always wanted to do. I've wanted to do a musical episode since the first day we started shooting Season 1. Now, we're in that place that we have the space to try it. Also, it's a period of time in which I finally have the right idea and the right talent to make that happen.
TVGuide.com: Singers like Chandra Wilson and Sara Ramirez. But how will you incorporate the people who are not known for singing?
Rhimes: You will be very surprised to discover that some people sing quite well. That's sort of a little gift to the fans, to discover that people who are not necessarily known for singing have pretty great voices. Also, some people won't be singing because it doesn't go with the story.
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TVGuide.com: Since Ramirez is a Tony winner, will the story focus on Callie?
Rhimes: It's definitely a Callie-heavy story, but it's a story that we would've told whether there was singing or not. It's always nice to have a Tony winner on deck to do a little singing.
TVGuide.com: What else can you say about the storyline?
Rhimes: The storyline is in very early stages. We're not going to have an episode where you turn on the television and people are singing for no reason. It has a reason, there's a story underneath it and there's a point to the whole thing. I'm still nervous about it, because you can do something like this and it can come out not the way you intended. I have been working on this very carefully because I want it to still be our show, but also heighten it.
TVGuide.com: Are you afraid it might be too risky for the show?
Rhimes: No, we're not doing what anybody would call a typical musical episode. The comparisons to other musical episodes are too great, and we wanted it to be different. Nobody is going to be dancing and singing down the halls; that's not our show. Our show is known for its music. I very much wanted to do something that was musical without being a musical.
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TVGuide.com: So, what sort of music will we hear in the episode?
Rhimes: Part of the way I figured out that we could do this was to take the songs that our show has made iconic and have them be sung by our cast members, as opposed to singing Broadway songs or singing some songs by a known artist. We're simply singing songs that Grey's Anatomy has made famous. I don't want to talk about any particular songs yet because we're still in the process of clearing everything. But when [executive producer] Betsy Beers and I sat down to make the list, we joked that we have too many songs that we could use. It became about picking the most iconic ones, the ones that best suited our singers, and the ones that made the most sense.
So many songs to choose from: Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars." The Fray's "How to Save a Life." "The Story" by Brandi Carlile. What songs would you like to hear the cast of Grey's Anatomy sing?