Jason George Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ to Star in Firefighter Spin-Off
The Grey’s Anatomy cast just got a little less massive — a series regular is leaving the show.
ABC announced the new show at its upfront presentation in May, and it’s the first Grey’s Anatomy offshoot since Addison Montgomery joined a Private Practice ten years ago.
“Set in a Seattle firehouse, the latest series from the executive producers of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder follows a group of heroic firefighters,” ABC teased in a press release.
“From the captain to the newest recruit, we follow these brave men and women as they risk their lives and their hearts both in the line of duty and off the clock.”
The first season will comprise 10 episodes beginning midseason i.e. probably sometime between January and March.
The only other cast member announced so far is Jaina Lee Ortiz.
You’d probably recognize this 30-year-old from her starring role as Det. Annalise Villa on the procedural drama Rosewood.
FOX axed that show in May, and Deadline says Jaina has been “in demand” in Hollywood ever since.
Now, however, we know that Jason will join Jaina in the spin-off.
In announcing the news, The Hollywood Reporter says the 45-year-old actor will continue on as a series regular on Grey’s until the still-untitled spin-off ramps up production.
And, THR notes, he may pop up on the flagship show every now and then — and we have to imagine his marriage to Bailey isn’t going anywhere.
Jason first appeared on Grey’s in Season 6, playing an anesthesiologist who stood up to Dr. Miranda Bailey’s commanding presence in the O.R.
The two characters eventually fell in love and married, and Ben became a surgeon, but it wasn’t until Season 12 that Grey’s promoted Jason to series regular status.
Fans actually speculated the character might switch to the spin-off after they saw the Season 13 finale.
If you’ll recall, it was then that Ben headed back into the burning hospital to help the firefighters look for Dr. Stephanie Edwards.
Even aside from Ben’s presence — and the behind-the-scenes leadership of former Grey’s showrunner Stacy McKee — the new show should feel like a natural expansion of Shondaland Seattle.
"It was up to Shonda to tell us when she had inspiration for something that made sense, which was pretty recent,” ABC Studios president Patrick Moran told The Hollywood Reporter.
“We talked about the elements of Grey’s Anatomy that seem to resonate with the audience — emotional storytelling, deep human connection, a high-stakes environment, and strong and empowered women — and those elements will carry over to the spin-off,” Patrick continued.
Sounds like it might set TV ratings ablaze!
Grey’s Anatomy Season 14 premieres on Thursday, September 28, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The firefighter spin-off will premiere sometime in early 2018.