'Grey's Anatomy': First Season 17 Pic Hints at Meredith's New Love Interest

Grey's Anatomy is back on set filming Season 17, which is set to come to ABC this fall. Ellen Pompeo took to Instagram recently to mark her first time on set since production shut down due to the coronavirus in March. It was the actor who joined Pompeo in the on-set photo, however, that has got fans excited.

Pompeo captioned the photo: "First time back in my scrubs... since we shut down filming 7000 healthcare workers have died from Covid. I dedicate my season 17 to all who have fallen and to everyone of you who by the grace of God is still standing... this season is for you with humility and a bit of humor to get us through and endless amounts of gratitude. I hope we do you proud."

In the photo, Pompeo is shown wearing a face mask alongside Irish actor Richard Flood, who has played Dr. Cormac Hayes on the ABC medical drama since November 2019.

Flood's appearance in the photo comes just a month after the actor was made a series regular on Grey's Anatomy, after appearing in a number of episodes as a character known to fans as "McWidow," who was trying to woo Meredith (played by Pompeo) as she grappled with her feelings about Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti).

In April, Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff said of this love triangle in a TVLine article: "I'm at the point with that story where I don't know who I am rooting for...I don't know if I think that DeLuca is rising to a level of dark and twisty and life experience that makes him somehow a mature partner for Meredith. Or if all that Hayes has been through in his life already makes him her equal. I am delighted to have such a conundrum."

However, Flood's appearance in Pompeo's Instagram picture may suggest that Meredith is leaving toward McWidow.

Fans do not have that long to wait before they will be able to see Mer's latest adventures. Recently, ABC revealed that Grey's Anatomy would return as part of their fall schedule, with episodes airing on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET. Usually, this schedule begins in September, but there is likely to be a delay this year.

Filming on the series usually begins in late July ready for release two months later in September. If Grey's Season 17 follows this schedule, then the show is likely to begin in early November on ABC.

In another TVLine interview, Vernoff revealed that, rather than start the season with the four episodes that went unfilmed from Season 16, they would start anew for Season 17.

The showrunner said: "We are not working to protect stories we had [planned] for the end of Season 16. That said, you will get to see some of the immediate moments from where we left off...There was great material that we had already shot but did not get a chance to air. We found a way to build it into our premiere."

Grey's Anatomy Season 17 is coming in fall 2020 to ABC.