The drama isn’t limited to the screen! Lynette Rice documented Grey’s Anatomy’s 16-year run with the cast and crew in her upcoming book, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, which will be released on September 21.
Rice’s unauthorized narrative (which may be preordered now) provides the “first inside story” of one of ABC’s most popular medical programs.
A summary from MacMillan Publishers read, “Lynette Rice’s How to Save A Life takes a fully unauthorized deep dive into the show’s humble beginning while delivering exclusive intel on the behind-the-scenes culture, the most tragic exits, and the more contentious plotlines.” “No Grey’s Anatomy fan should be without this obsessively enthusiastic book.”
The book was first unveiled in February, and it contains an illustrated version of the season 1 cast portrait on the cover. At the time, Entertainment Weekly’s editor-at-large claimed that he conducted 80 new interviews with the show’s current and former cast members, crew members, and musicians whose songs were featured on the show. Rice wanted to include the drama’s early drafts, production experiences, and most well-known sequences and characters.
Rice told the outlet at the time, “Grey’s Anatomy is the most popular, zeitgeist-cracking show on TV, but what happened on behind the scenes was just as fascinating and dramatic as what fans witnessed each week.” “I can’t wait for viewers to join me on a trip down memory lane and relive some of the show’s most incredible moments. I provide new insight into some of the show’s most contentious departures, as well as new information on why the show was so newsworthy in its early days.”
Both The Hollywood Reporter and Entertainment Weekly published sections from the oral history on their websites in September 2021, revealing shocking details about the show’s path from the drawing board to the top of the television charts.
In an article from Entertainment Weekly, show writer Stacy McKee said, “No one believed it was going to be a phenomenon at that moment.” “We were all simply doing our part to help this tiny thing that we all believed in move forward as much as possible. Everyone, even [creator] Shonda [Rhimes], was unfamiliar with it. “All we were doing was hoping and dreaming.”
In addition to recounting the show’s triumphs and famous guest performers, a whole chapter is devoted to Patrick Dempsey’s final resignation, which occurred during season 11. After a successful film career, Dempsey played Derek Shepherd, Meredith Grey’s love interest, for the first 11 seasons of the medical drama. MerDer and his wife ultimately married and welcomed their children Zola, Bailey, and Ellis together after a rough start. After writers had his character go to Washington, D.C. to oversee a brain-mapping effort for the White House, Dempsey was absent for several episodes of season 11. In an April 2015 episode, he returned to his family and Seattle, only to be killed off in a vehicle accident.
During his parting interview with Entertainment Weekly at the time, Dempsey noted, “It just sort of developed in a very organic way.” “I’m not sure what day it was. It wasn’t in the autumn. Perhaps February or March… It all happened in a flash.”
“There weren’t a lot of discussions,” he said during the interview, but he wasn’t surprised by his departure. “It was only a matter of time. And the way everything was unfolding in such a natural way made me think, OK! This was unquestionably the correct moment. Then there was the matter of… That’s a question for Shonda.”
Rice spoke with the crew about those final days with Dempsey and the rest of the crew in How to Save A Life.
“There were occasions when Ellen [Pompeo] was unhappy with Patrick and she would get angry because he wasn’t working as much,” producer Jeannine Renshaw recalled in a THR piece published on September 16. “She was a firm believer in fairness. She didn’t appreciate it when Patrick complained that he was “here too late” or “here too long” when she had twice as many scenes as he did in the show. ‘Look about you,’ I would say when I brought it up to Patrick. ‘These people have been here since 6:30 a.m.,’ says the narrator. ‘Oh, certainly,’ he’d say. He’d figure it out. It’s just that actors have a tendency to see things through their own eyes. He has the personality of a child.”