With Shonda Rhimes unleashing another ensemble medical drama staffed by hotties into ABC primetime, critics at press tour want to know: How is her latest production, Off the Map, not just Grey’s Anatomy in the jungle? (Or, as Ken Tucker dubs it, “Grey’s Anatomy with flies”).

“Because it’s not,” insists Rhimes, who then passes the baton to the series creator and showrunner Jenna Bans. “It’s really Jenna’s characters and I’m just lucky enough to get a part of it.”

Bans elaborated:

“On a character level, you’re getting a huge difference. And the jungle is their pharmacy. They don’t have the technology or resources on ER or Grey’s or any other medical show and it allows us to delve into stories we don’t normally get to do.”

Also, with Map set in a fictitious South American country, the show will eventually get into the area’s politics — something different than the usual turf explored by the staff of Seattle Grace.

“Its a mix of action adventure and does get a little political toward the end … in a way you probably haven’t seen on TV before,” Bans says.

The season will be a “50-50 mix” of episodes that have close-ended stories vs. episodes dedicated to bigger over-reaching storylines.

Also, Rhimes gave a bit of detail about her ABC series in development about a Washington DC “professional fixer.” The character is based on Judy Smith, a political image consultant who worked with Monica Lewinsky.

Says the ever-multi-tasking Rhimes: “I very much wish I had a clone.”

Episode Recaps

Grey's Anatomy

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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