How Grey's Anatomy Nearly Got Stopped Before It Started

When Shonda Rhimes graduated from USC film school, she initially wrote movies. She did Crossroads and Princess Diaries 2, among others. In 2002, she adopted a baby and, she says, "my social life died." So she started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and realized the potential for character growth on TV. She gingerly asked her agent whether she could try writing TV. He got her a deal; a little show called Grey's Anatomy was the first pilot she penned. 

"I sat in a room with a bunch of men, one of whom stood up and voiced very strongly the idea that nobody was going to want to watch a show about a woman who had sex with a guy she'd just met the night before her first day of work. That that was disgusting," she told MAKERS.

The pushback didn't faze Rhimes. "I remember sitting there thinking, 'These people have no idea what's going on in the world, at all.'"

Still, she never imagined the show would take hold as much as it has. It premiered on ABC in 2005 and on Thursday, September 25, the show will start its 11th season. It's been nominated for 39 Emmys, and won five. Between 2007 and 2011, it was the most recorded show on TV. Over the show's seasons, average viewership has ranged from 9 to 22 million. And Shonda's frank portrayal of romantic relationships has served her other shows just as well. Since its debut in 2012, Rhimes' political intrigue series Scandal has been nominated for five Emmys. Along with the Grey's Anatomy premiere, Rhimes' new production How to Get Away with Murder will air for the first time on Thursday, September 25. We're guessing there will be some women initiating one night stands. When Shonda Rhimes is overseeing complicated, flawed relationships and characters involved, of course we want to watch.