So is Shonda Rhimes’ new series “Off the Map” just “Grey’s Anatomy” in the jungle?
Created by Jenna Bans for Rhimes’ ShondaLand shingle, the show – premiering tomorrow night (Jan. 12) at 10 on ABC – is set in a remote South American village, where six doctors search for reasons that led each of them to medicine.
It’s Rhimes’ third medical drama following “Grey’s Anatomy” and its spinoff “Private Practice,” but the executive producer says “Map” is not merely a tropical version of the previous two.
“It’s not,” Rhimes tells reporters at the Television Critics Association Winter press tour. “What’s interesting to me about the show is that Jenna came and said, ‘I have this idea for a show,’ and I was like, ‘Please, God, don’t let it be a medical show,’ and she was like, ‘It is but it isn’t.’
“What was great about it is, is it’s really Jenna’s voice, Jenna’s characters. Jenna’s not writing ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in the jungle. Jenna’s writing her own show with her own voice set in a really interesting location, and I’m just lucky enough to get to be a part of it.”
Asked how she finds enough time to juggle all three of her shows, plus a fourth that was just greenlighted in December about a DC-based PR “fixer,” Rhimes says it’s all about multitasking.
“I think I have to be a multitasker or else I would be fired by now,” she told reporters. “But we’re in Season 7 and Season 4, and Jenna’s show’s in Season 1. They’re all at very different stages and, therefore, require different levels of my attention. So it just works out.”