Shonda Rhimes



I know you love Grey's ...

Question: I know you love Grey's Anatomy and don't really like Desperate Housewives, and last season I shared that opinion. This season, though, I feel as though Desperate Housewives is a great show, while Grey's Anatomy began to slump during the Izzie and Denny story line. What made for an exciting finale with Izzie cutting the LVAD (a term I never want to hear again) has now turned into the Grey's Anatomy version of the Moldavian Massacre. It made for great viewing, but I don't think that creator Shonda Rhimes thought ahead to the fallout from this action. Izzie's being allowed back into the program in any form is a "shark-jumping" moment for me. This is not to say that I don't still like the show. I just think that it's going through a downturn. My friends are starting to leave it, especially after viewing the amazing season premiere of The O.C. I think that an audience backlash is the one thing that seemed to shake up Housewives. I kind of hope Grey's goes through one, so Shonda ... read more

Do you think people will ...

Isaiah Washington, Grey's Anatomy

Question: Do you think people will boycott Grey's Anatomy because Isaiah Washington is still on the show? How do you think ABC and Shonda Rhimes handled the situation? It's a shame that this whole incident created such bad buzz for GA and damaged its reputation. Answer: How exactly does "this whole incident" reflect badly on Grey's Anatomy? On the actor in question, yes, absolutely. But to hold his most regrettable and, yes, unforgivable outburst against the show itself would be absurd. It doesn't seem to me that ABC or Shonda Rhimes tried to deny the incident, so they handled it as well as can be expected. They expressed regret, kept their heads down and got back to work as best and as quickly as they could. No one's happy that it happened, least of all Isaiah Washington. Are you really asking if he should have been fired for making what by all accounts was a bigoted remark in the heat of an ill-advised temper tantrum? If actors were fired for being jerks on set or elsewhere, the ... read more

Grey's Boss Diagnoses Recast Talk as "Ridiculous"

As part of a People article in which Grey's Anatomy's Isaiah Washington expresses his "sincere regret" and "unfortunate use of words" during an Oct. 9 on-set tussle involving cast mates Patrick Dempsey and T.R. Knight (the latter of whom subsequently came out as gay), series creator Shonda Rhimes rebuffs talk that Washington will be replaced in the role of Burke. (ER alum Eriq La Salle was a name frequently mentioned amid the murmurings.) "I found [those rumors] not only ridiculous but offensive," Rhimes tells the mag. "The [idea] that one black [actor] was interchangeable with another seemed disturbing to me." Asked to also chime in on the controversy, Meredith Grey said, "Why wasn't Derek happy that I chose him?" read more

Penn & Teller's BS. Meter Hits New Heights

Penn & Teller: Bulls--t!

In the spirit of Harry Houdini, the legendary illusionist who spent his free time exposing scams, comic magicians Penn &Teller have taken up a similar pastime. With the Showtime series Bulls--t!, the duo touches on a wide array of topics, from circumcision to bottled water to cryptozoology, in an attempt to wipe away the mire of misperception. Because a Q&A with Teller might not be much of a read, spoke with Penn about Bulls--t!'s third season, which is now out on DVD. Why are you and Teller so bent on debunking things?Penn Jillette: What we're really doing is celebrating the principles of science. If you believe in this thing that can't be substantiated, then immediately you cut yourself off from the rest of the world, except for read more

September 21, 2006: Time Has Come Today

I f---ing love this show. There -- I said it. And to use the title of the episode, "Time Has Come Today" for all us Grey's fans to rejoice -- we finally saw our season premiere! I want to say right away that I really enjoyed all the flashbacks -- and not flashbacks to scenes we've already witnessed ("previously on Grey's Anatomy"). It had a sort of Lost feel to it with the backstories -- not completely Lost-like since most of the scenes were things they've alluded to before, but it was great to finally see them:- The very first time Izzie and Alex said "Seriously" to each other.- George introducing himself to Meredith in an oh-so "I'm Dorothy -- the small and meek" way.- Meredith flashing way back to her childhood and recalling her mother arguing with Dr. Webber at an amusement park.- Cristina meeting Burke for the first time.- Derek throwing Addison out of their home ("We're not 'Derek & Addison' anymore!").- Derek's first meet-n-greet with Meredith at the bar.Those last two we... read more

I need some Grey's Anatomy ...

Question: I need some Grey's Anatomy scoop, please!

Answer: In Episode 4, McSteamy and McDreamy cross swords over how to treat a burn victim. And there's no more mystery as to what Diahann Carroll will be doing on the show. According to this spoileriffic ABC promo, she'll be playing — as many of us suspected — Burke's mom. (That noise you hear is Shonda Rhimes tearing ABC's promo department a new one.)

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Any truth to the rumor on ...

Question: Any truth to the rumor on about the Grey's Anatomy cast being upset at Shonda Rhimes over her alleged unwillingness to let them tackle other projects?

Answer: I honestly have no idea. I do, however, find it curious that the "story" came out just hours before it was announced that Kate Walsh had to drop out of the Stephen King thriller 1408 due to "scheduling conflicts" with Grey's. Hmmm….

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My Visit to Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey by Frank OckenfelsABC

You won't believe this, but I once again found myself in a hospital while in Los Angeles covering the TCA Press Tour. But unlike the Root Canal Crisis of 2005, this year's medical intervention didn't involve any pain, just some mild heart palpitations, high blood pressure and sweaty palms. And the doctors attending to me bore the names McDreamy, Meredith, Izzie and Addison. If you haven't figured out where I'm going with this yet — and if the headline hadn't already given it away — I pity you. I, along with 60 other TV critics and reporters, was admitted to Grey's fictional Seattle Grace Hospital on July 20 for an emergency tour of the set and a brief consultation with the cast. I was sprung after only an hour, but I learned quite a lot during my Anatomy lesson. For instance: 1. Shonda Rhimes is loosening up on her spoiler policy.Not only did the onetime Information Nazi announce that "the fabulous Miss Diahann Carroll" would be one of the new season's first guest stars, s... read more

I know Shonda Rhimes doesn't ...

Question: I know Shonda Rhimes doesn't give even the slightest hints at scoop, but, dude, I need something on Grey's Anatomy. I don't even care if you make it up!

Answer: Chris O'Donnell is in talks to lengthen his stay, Addison will find out about Derek and Meredith's prom-night tryst and run back into McSteamy's arms, and Izzy will come face-to-face with her long-lost daughter just in time for November sweeps. One of these things is true, the other two I made up.

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The buzz was right — the ...

Question: The buzz was right — the Grey's Anatomy finale did not disappoint!! I think the majority of the cast deserves Emmy nods. What do you think?

Answer: I think I'm not supposed to discuss the Dream Emmy Ballot until it's unveiled in next week's issue of TV Guide magazine, but good thing I'm horrible at following orders. We have singled out five Grey's performers in the 2006 Ballot, four in supporting roles and one lead. Any guesses? We would've chosen the entire cast if we could, but, well, we couldn't. And yes, Monday's finale was damn near perfect. I'll tell you, no one straddles the line between comedy and drama like Shonda Rhimes. The woman is a genius. And as sad as I was to see Denny go, it totally made sense story-wise. It also gave us that fantastic scene where read more

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