'Grey's Anatomy' Is Ditching Its Song-Inspired Episode Titles For A Powerful Reason

What does 1-800-799-7233 mean?

Every episode of Grey's Anatomy shares its name with a song title — from its pilot "A Hard Day's Night" back in 2005 to the 301st installment "Out of Nowhere," which aired just weeks ago. That said, tonight's episode of the Shonda Rhimes powerhouse will buck this beloved tradition and is doing so for an extremely powerful reason.

Per TVLine, ABC dropped a press release announcing that the season 14 midseason premiere (airing January 18) will now be titled "1-800-799-7233" instead of "Four Seasons in One Day." The significance? This is the phone number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a resource available for free, 24-7, for those who have experienced any form of domestic violence.

This change was made because the episode's storyline centers around Jo (played by Camilla Luddington), who will be confronted by estranged — and, yes, abusive — husband Paul (played by Glee's Matthew Morrison). The showrunner for the Ellen Pompeo-starring series, Krista Vernoff, credited cast member Giacomo Gianniotti for coming up with the "brilliant idea."

Entertainment Weekly asked Luddington about the timing of the episode, which is coming out at the height of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements — something this actress calls "serendipitous." These movements have given women a voice and platform to speak out about all forms of gender injustice and, as Luddington points out, it was all "a long time coming." 

"Really this story is about a woman that is no longer feeling silenced and finding strength to use her voice, to be heard, to be believed, to feel empowered," she told the mag. "I think that's the heart of this story at the end of the day, and that's exactly what's going on right now. It just feels crazy that it's airing during this particular moment, but now I feel like it was meant to be, too."

Credit: Richard Cartwright / ABC
Credit: Richard Cartwright / ABC

Luddington said that herself, Vernoff, and all the writers have had many conversations with domestic abuse organizations in order to tell this story the right way. The goal, as Luddington notes, is to "educate people that have misconceptions about domestic abuse, who it happens to, and what it looks like."

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit www.thehotline.org.

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