The show is yet to return to production, but some details about the new season are starting to filter through from the cast and creatives.
Now, Gianniotti, who plays Andrew DeLuca on the long-running ABC series, has revealed that season 17 will feature a coronavirus storyline, set a month and a half into the pandemic.
"We're going to start the season about a month and a half [into] full COVID, so it's going to take place a little beyond where we left off in the last season," Gianniotti told Entertainment Tonight.
"We might have some flashbacks. We might have some things where we're referencing last season, just to have context leading up. But we are going to have a little leap when we start this season in terms of time. We're not picking up right where we left off."
This slight time jump will follow on from the makeshift season 16 finale, which saw DeLuca struggle again with his bipolar disorder.
Asked how his character will cope during the pandemic, Gianniotti said: "I think he thrives in chaos and he certainly proved that in past seasons that when there's a lot going on, he steps up.
"This is going to be an obviously stressful situation, but I think an exciting one where he can really shine and then thrive."
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