'Grey's Anatomy' spin-off 'Station 19' premieres on ABC

LOS ANGELES, California (WABC) -- TGIT on ABC is all about "Grey's Anatomy." Thursday evening begins with an episode of the long-running series and then continues with a two-hour premiere of the spin-off "Station 19."

The show takes place in Seattle Fire Department's Station 19 and follows the lives of the firefighters there. "Grey's Anatomy" fans will notice some familiar faces and familiar settings.

Star Jaina Lee Ortiz, who plays Andy Herrera, grew up in the Bronx and credits her upbringing as helpful in pursuing her career.

"Being from the Bronx, I mean instantly you develop a thick skin, and I think that's a huge part of being in this business," she said. "You have to be tough and strong, and you deal with so much rejection and bullies."

She also said being the daughter of an NYPD detective helped her play the "alpha female."

As a spin-off of "Grey's Anatomy," stars from that series, like Ellen Pompeo and Chandra Wilson, make brief appearances in the new show. And Jason George moves to "Station 19" permanently. His character goes from the operating room to fighting fires.

"The fun thing about Ben is he goes after the things that scare him most," George said. "He's always looking for new challenges. He was deathly afraid of fire, now he's gonna become a fireman."

Like all of Shonda Rhimes' shows, there is a message behind all the drama and action: to show female firefighters in action at a time when they are under-represented nationwide.

"There are 1.1 million firefighters and just 7 percent are females," Ortiz said.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has pointed out this problem in our own city as well. During a hearing on diversity in the NYFD, Johnson said the department is "out of step" for having only 68 female firefighters.

"If this show's around for a few years, I have no doubt that Jaina and other women on out show will inspire women to pursue a career that's phenomenal," George said.

You can watch "Station 19" starting March 22 at 9 p.m. on your local ABC station. To read more about the show, see the trailer, and watch past episodes click here.

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