Isaiah Washington

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New Heroes at NBC: Charming Chuck, Dark Bionic

Zachary Levi as Chuck by Chris Haston/NBC Photo

The network of Heroes is going hero-crazy this fall. But two of NBC's more buzzed-about new genre series couldn’t be more different: a dark and disturbing "reimagining" of '70s superhero series Bionic Woman and the laugh-out-loud action-comedy Chuck, about a computer nerd whose brain is accidentally wired with government secrets, catapulting him into the spy game. Both were presented in back-to-back sessions at the TCA critics' press tour Tuesday morning.Of course, much of the latest Bionic buzz has focused on this week’s announcement that the ever-controversial Isaiah Washington is joining the show for an early five-episode arc as a mystery man brought into the secret bio-science organization that turned Jaime Sommers (Michelle Ryan in a new twist on the old Lindsay Wagner role) into a part-machine superhuman. It’s a casting stunt that at least a few journalists in the room feel could backfire. Executive producer Jason Smilovic defended the casting stunt by saying, &... read more

NBC on Hiring Isaiah Washington: "He Deserves a Second Chance"

Isaiah Washington by Jaime McCarthy/WireImage.com

NBC co-chairman Marc Graboff seemed assured that Bionic Woman guest star Isaiah Washington wouldn’t repeat the mistakes that led ABC to can him from Grey’s Anatomy. "If anybody has learned his lesson about the way he reacts around his fellow actors and in the public — you have to be very careful of what you say privately and publicly," Graboff said Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour. "It’s a second chance; he deserves a second chance and we’re giving it to him. He knows he came this close to losing his career." Washington will have good reason to be on his best behavior. His five-episode stint on NBC's Bionic Woman is a dry run for a possible drama series that he will develop and star in for the network. "It’s an idea of his," NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman said. "Seeing him in an action environment will hopefully show us what he could do. But as we’re in production on Bionic Woman, we may decide whether he should ... read more

NBC at TCA: Meet the New Guy

The Singing Bee's Joey Fatone with The Honey Bees by Trae Patton/NBC Photo

He dropped names as diverse as Norman Lear, Uri Geller, Isaiah Washington and Jerry Seinfeld. He teased an all-celebrity version of The Apprentice (with a half-joking promise to extend an invitation to Rosie O’Donnell). In describing his vision for NBC's immediate and long-term future, the network’s boyish new co-chair Ben Silverman showed his affinity for both packaging and programming TV in an enthusiastic debut performance in front of the nation’s TV critics on Monday morning.Though he took the stage alongside the relatively subdued co-chair Marc Graboff, whose expertise is on the business side, this was Silverman’s show all the way, and he wasted no time in announcing some surprising programming deals and a few aggressive scheduling changes, including turning Monday into an all-fantasy night and shifting Friday Night Lights an hour earlier on Fridays, so it’s now cozily hammocked between the strong franchises of a relocated Deal or No Deal and Las Vegas,... read more

Isaiah Washington Begins Rebuilding with Bionic Gig

Isaiah Washington by Maury Phillips/Wireimage.com

Isaiah Washington is back in action — literally. First up, says USA Today, the actor will guest-star this fall on at least five episodes of NBC's Bionic Woman update, playing "an outsider with a mysterious agenda" that will either help or raise hell for Jaime Sommers. Beyond that, the disgraced Anatomy star has inked a deal to star in a potential action drama he pitched to the Peacock for the 2008-09 TV season.Hailing Washington as "a brilliant actor," NBC Universal Media Studios president Katherine Pope believes viewers will welcome him back to the screen, in that "people watch characters... not personalities. He's put that [drama] behind him," Pope adds. "Let's give him a chance to do what he does."UPDATE: In a statement, NBC co-chairman of entertainment Ben Silverman says, "Isaiah Washington is a very talented and versatile actor and I've always admired his work, These episodes on Bionic Woman and the new development deal will showcase his talents, and we look forward to pro... read more

This whole Isaiah Washington ...

Question: This whole Isaiah Washington flap has me wondering: Now that he has blamed every person he has ever spoken to for his recent axing, has he blamed you, too? I am sure he is well aware of your power.


Answer: No, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little hurt.

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Isaiah Washington: "I Have to Clear the Air" About What Really Happened

Isaiah Washington by Maury Phillips/WireImage.com

Appearing Monday night on Larry King Live, Isaiah Washington served up what many of us have been clamoring for: a blow-by-blow account of exactly what transpired on the Grey's Anatomy set last Oct. 9. In Washington's version, T.R. Knight was nowhere near the line of fire; rather, the conflict was focused on a different cast member. "Although I love Patrick Dempsey, I have to clear the air and tell what happened," Washington said to Larry King, launching into his version of those events. Prior to Oct. 9, while filming the "Where the Boys Are"/fishing episode, Washington grew concerned that when Dempsey extended a shoot day, it would appear that the show's two "titans" were taking advantage of crew members. Washington, however, didn’t vent his frustration at the time — "[and] I was kicking myself for it."Come Oct. 9, Dempsey was again late to the set. "I'm mad," Washington recalls. "[But] I didn’t say anything [the previous time], so what am I going to say now?" After ... read more

Isaiah Washington Shuffles Deck, Finally Pulls Race Card

Isaiah Washington by Bob D'Amico/ABC

Sorry yet again, Heigl. Isaiah Washington's latest interview — this time given to Newsweek — has the disgraced former Grey's Anatomy star saying that racism (also?) factored into his firing. "It didn't help me on the set that I was a black man who wasn't a mush-mouth Negro walking around with his head in his hands all the time," the actor tells the mag. "Someone heard the booming voice of a black man and got really scared, and that was the beginning of the end for me."Washington even claims that a person in ABC human resources once told him "that 'some people' were afraid of me. I asked her why, because I'm a 6-foot-1 black man... who doesn't go around saying, 'Yessah, massa sir' and 'No sir, massa' to everyone?"ABC declined comment on this latest beat in the sordid story. read more

Isaiah Washington to Be Plucked by Peacock?

Has Law & Order found its next ADA? Is Las Vegas getting a new flirty concierge? Whatever the case, best of luck (and lots of Aleve) to the publicist assigned to this show. According to the Hollywood Reporter, NBC is in talks with Isaiah Washington's worst enemy — that is, the Grey's Anatomy firestarter himself — about a possible gig (though whether that would be a new or existing series is unclear). In related news, word on the street has it that, since T.R. Knight's insidiously clever scheme to get producers to rethink him as a leading man by getting himself called the F-word and then coming out of the closet has worked so brilliantly, everyone on The Office who is not Steve Carell, Jim or Pam has begun hanging out in gay bars.POLL: Would you follow Isaiah to a new series? Vote here.POLL: If Isaiah joins a show you watch, would you tune out? Vote. read more

Exclusive: Isaiah's Date with Larry King Confirmed!

Isaiah Washington by Bob D'Amico/ABC

This just in: Isaiah Washington has more mud to sling to say about his Grey's Anatomy firing!Washington's publicist, Howard Bragman, confirms to me exclusively that his jabberjaw client will appear on Larry King Live this coming Monday. Washington hinted at his date with King in Incendiary Outburst No. 3, which you can read all about in Mitovich's column. (Here's No. 1 and No. 2, in case you missed 'em.)On the topic of Washington's ongoing (and unbelievably scattershot) Anger Management Media Tour, Bragman wouldn't say whether the ex-Grey's star is acting as his own PR agent. "I won't discuss my relationship with my client," he balked. He did, however, concede that things probably could have been handled better. "Part of the challenge that's out there is he's been shooting a movie 12 hours a day, six days a week, so he hasn't had time to do the coordinated sit-downs that you want to do in a situation like this."Well, that's one way to put it. Another way? Someone needs to zip it! read more

Isaiah Washington Says Patrick Dempsey Agrees T.R. Knight Should Be Fired

Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey by Karen Neal/ABC

Sorry, Heigl: he's still not not speaking. Though Isaiah Washington says he is "trying real hard not to incite an unnecessary war" among his former Grey's Anatomy cast mates, he has given a new interview in which he propels a claim that T.R. Knight is as much to blame for the aftermath of the October 9 on-set fracas. Washington even says that no less than "McDreamy" would concur. Positing that Knight had been "very tactical" in seeking to get Washington — if not Patrick Dempsey, as well — off the ABC drama, Washington tells gay-rights activist/BET host Keith Boykin, "I know Patrick Dempsey has supported me by stating that if there is anyone that needs to be fired, it is T.R. Knight, because he has created such a negative environment on the set." (Dempsey's publicist has not yet responded to TVGuide.com's requests for comment.)At the crux of Knight's alleged campaign is a feeling that "he has not been treated and given the same 'leading man' kinds of story lines" as his pee... read more

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