Grey's Anatomy Star's Reaction To Only Murders Season 3's Grey’s New Orleans: Family Burn Unit Parody Revealed

Summary Jesse Williams was delighted by Only Murders in the Building's Grey's Anatomy reference, showing his appreciation for the homage to his previous show. The playful connection between Only Murders in the Building and Grey's Anatomy indicates the latter's enduring popularity and how actors are associated with their roles even after leaving a successful show. The possibility of a Grey's Anatomy spinoff teased in Only Murders in the Building aligns with the show's history of sparking spinoffs, while also playfully satirizing the tendency of procedural franchises to expand into other departments and cities.

Only Murders in the Building season 3's sly Grey's Anatomy reference earned a delighted reaction from former Seattle Grace doctor Jesse Williams. Hulu's hit murder mystery series returned earlier this month and plunged viewers into the twisty investigation surrounding the death of famous actor Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd). Only Murders in the Building season 3 has introduced a slew of newcomers, including Williams' documentarian Tobert. This marks his biggest television role since he departed Grey's Anatomy, where he played plastic surgeon Jackson Avery across 14 seasons.

On the latest episode of Only Murders in the Building season 3, aspiring actor Loretta Durkin (Meryl Streep) strikes gold when she gets an audition for the newest Grey's Anatomy offshoot, humorously dubbed Grey's New Orleans: Family Burn Unit. In an interview with TVLine, executive producer John Hoffman reveals Williams' reaction to the surprise reference to his previous show, which indicated he was rather touched by it. Hoffman says:

"Jesse was very sweet about that. He was howling [during our Zoom table read] about the reference. And it's a real homage. I mean, has there been a more successful show than Grey's Anatomy? What a windfall for an actress [like Loretta] to have that opportunity…. Watching Meryl Streep get excited about that for herself is just a dream."

Only Murders' Grey's Anatomy Joke Explained

Williams' character Tobert isn't present when the Grey's Anatomy reference is uttered; he spends much of Only Murders in the Building season 3 episode 3 investigating Ben's penthouse apartment with Mabel (Selena Gomez). Nevertheless, the playful connection is clear. Currently on pause due to the writers and actors strikes ahead of its season 20, Grey's Anatomy remains one of the most popular shows on broadcast television, and the actors who appear on it are frequently associated with their roles even after they leave.

Only Murders in the Building teasing another Grey's Anatomy spinoff isn't that far outside the realm of possibility either. The ABC series has already sparked two actual spinoffs, Private Practice and Station 19, and its large ensemble always remains ripe for additional storytelling opportunities. Whether a future spinoff would be so obviously titled as Grey's New Orleans: Family Burn Unit is less certain, but that comes across more as a playful dig at how procedural franchises are frequently spinning off into other departments and cities.

Loretta's potential Grey's character, who comes with a large backstory and a potential limp, even seems like a perfect fit for the drama's universe. Grey's Anatomy, for all of its serious medical stories, has slipped into the melodramatic more than once over the course of its 19 seasons. Unfortunately, while Loretta did get the part, the end of Only Murders in the Building season 3, episode 3 sees her turn it down in order to stick with Oliver's (Martin Short) play-turned-musical, which means the series won't get the opportunity to satirize another familiar genre. Nevertheless, its reference to Williams' previous TV job got his seal approval, and likely that of several viewers as well.

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