Grey's Anatomy is an American medical drama television series that premiered on March 27, 2005, on the American Broadcasting Company as a mid-season replacement. The fictional series focuses on the lives of surgical interns, residents, and attending physicians, as they develop into seasoned doctors while trying to maintain personal lives and relationships. The title is a play on Gray's Anatomy, a classic human anatomy textbook first published in 1858 in London and written by Henry Gray. Shonda Rhimes developed the pilot and continues to write for the series; she is also one of the executive producers, along with Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Krista Vernoff, Rob Corn, Mark Wilding, and Allan Heinberg. Although the series is set in Seattle, it is filmed primarily in Los Angeles, California.
The series was designed to be racially diverse and used color-blind casting. It revolves around the title character, Dr. Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, first featured as an intern. The original cast consisted of nine star-billed actors: Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers, T. R. Knight, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey. The cast has undergone major changes through the series' run, with many members leaving and being replaced by others. In its fifteenth season, the show has a large ensemble of eleven actors, including four characters from the original cast .
Grey's Anatomy was renewed for a fifteenth season,
which premiered on September 27, 2018. The series' success catapulted such long-running cast members as Pompeo, Dempsey, and Oh to worldwide recognition; they were among the top five highest-earning television actors in 2013. While the show's ratings have fallen over the course of its run, it is still one of the highest-rated shows among the 18–49 demographic, and the No. 3 drama on all of broadcast television. The series was the highest revenue-earning show on television, in terms of advertising, in the 2007–08 season; in 2017, it was ranked tenth on the list. Grey's Anatomy ranks as ABC's highest-rated drama in its fifteenth season.
Grey's Anatomy has been well received by critics throughout much of its run, and has been included in various critics' year-end top ten lists. Since its inception, the show has been described by the media outlets as a television "phenomenon" or a "juggernaut", owing to its longevity and dominant ratings. It is considered to have had a significant effect on popular culture and has received numerous awards, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama and a total of thirty-eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including two for Outstanding Drama Series. The cast members have also received several accolades for their respective performances. Grey's Anatomy is the longest-running scripted primetime show currently airing on ABC, and the longest scripted primetime series carried by ABC in general. As of 28 February 2019, it is the longest running American primetime medical drama series.