Shonda Rhimes



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'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

Isaiah Washington: "I'm Saddened by the Outcome"

Isaiah Washington by Scott Garfield/ABC

Isaiah Washington is "saddened by the outcome" of events started last fall that led to him being let go by Grey's Anatomy. Echoing that which his rep told Ausiello last Friday, Washington tells Entertainment Weekly, "I did everything that the producers and the network asked me to do.... I thought that was going to speak for my future at Grey's, but apparently that wasn't the same vision [they] had for me."Washington doesn't shed light on Grey'screator Shonda Rhimes' personal take on the sitch — "You have to understand that she's at the helm of one of the top-rated scripted shows" — nor does he say where things stand with him and T.R. Knight, instead saying, "You have to ask T.R. that."As for how this scrape might impact his career, he says, "I have to go about the business of letting people know what's written about me is not the truth.... It's a horrible misunderstanding what transpired with our show, and it was blown out of proportion. If the naysayers out there feel tha... read more

After watching the recent ...

Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy

Question: After watching the recent Grey's Anatomy finale, I was reminded of two of my other favorite shows: The West Wing and The O.C. These two shows started to become much darker and less comedic a few seasons in and never really recovered in the ratings. Grey's seems to be headed down the same road. Is there any hope for a turnaround, and do you think the more serious and irritating story lines could spell trouble for the show? Answer: I've been fielding lots of questions like this. Thankfully, Lisa — "a Grey's Anatomy fan since I watched reruns of the first season while studying for the bar" — reminded me of the blog, written by Grey's writers and producers, including Shonda Rhimes. As Lisa notes, "Shonda said that this whole season was designed to break everything down in order to build it back up, which I thought explained why this season was so much darker and not funny. (I've noticed that it is now referred to as a 'rom-dram' rather than a dramedy.) I think the ... read more

Grey's Boss on "Gizzie," the Dark Finale and Next Fall

T.R. Knight and Katherine Heigl by Vivian Zink/ABC

In a comprehensive blog entry dissecting Thursday's season finale, Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes heads off viewer laments that happy endings were in short supply for the Seattle Gracers. First explaining that the season gone by was "about most of all... the idea [that] 'having it all' is a myth," Rhimes goes on to say, "I did my level best to burn it all down... to the ground so that we can have a place to build from next season. But next season... oh, next season is all about the fun and pain of new beginnings. The future is wide open."Does said future find George ditching Callie for Izzie? [Shudder] Rhimes is "glad" that fans "have very strong opinions" on the love triangle, and admits that putting Callie on the baby track perhaps only to save her marriage "goes against every feminist bone in my body." But, she notes, "it is also human to delude yourself into believing [otherwise]."As for a Season 4 preview, Rhimes lets slip that where Derek is heading "is going to be inter... read more

T.R. Knight Feels Very "Blue" About Grey's Incident

In his sit-down with The Advocate (hitting newsstands June 19), Grey's Anatomy's T.R. Knight not-quite-artfully dodges pointed questions about the fallout (or lack thereof) of the October 2006 on-set incident that urged him out of the closet, painted cast mate Isaiah Washington as a homophobe and left many waiting for significant repercussions at the hand of series creator Shonda Rhimes. An excerpt obtained by "When asked if Washington had apologized to him personally, Knight initially responded, 'Which time?' Then, when pressed, he said, 'What a lovely blue sky.' When queried about whether Rhimes had come to him and asked what he wanted to happen, he paused thoughtfully before saying, 'I like blueberries. Do you like blueberries?'"As Raven here just observed, this much is now clear: T.R. likes blue. read more

While I actually enjoyed ...

Question: While I actually enjoyed Addison's Grey's Anatomy spin-off more than the choppy Grey's episode accompanying it, I admit some of the quirkiness made me cringe. (Do you really, as a professional thirty-something woman, walk into an old friend's office and start slapping him on the head? And then make fart jokes?). We started out the fall 2006 season with two similarly high-profile series, Studio 60 and Brothers & Sisters. While both had a great pedigree, started out struggling and made adjustments, they ended up on opposite ends of the spectrum. What can Private Practice learn from these examples, and do you think ABC, Shonda Rhimes, et al. will be humble enough to do so? Answer: From what I understand, when ABC Entertainment head Stephen McPherson met reporters before ABC's upfront this week, he acknowledged (without being specific) that the backdoor spin-off needed some fine-tuning. I hope both he and Shonda Rhimes will elaborate further when they meet the press officially at ... read more

ABC Boss: Grey's Spin-off Needs "Some Work"

In a Tuesday-morning press conference, ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson said the network is "obviously really thrilled" to include Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice on the schedule, but admitted, "There's some work to do" toward preparing the show — which was somewhat tepidly received by critics — to stand on its own. Calling the May 3 episode which laid the foundation for the follow-up "not really a pilot, but a hybrid kind of introduction," McPherson says, "We spent a lot of time introducing the characters and not enough time on the stories. We've really got to hit the stories stronger." With the characters established, he says, "What [Grey's creator] Shonda [Rhimes] does brilliantly is the conflict between people and the reality of that. You'll see the intricacies of those relationships."Accounting for the tonal differences between the two shows — one of the nits picked by those lukewarm to Practice — McPherson said, "We're not doing an imi... read more

Thank you for your honest ...

Kate Walsh, Grey's Anatomy

Question: Thank you for your honest assessment of the Grey's Anatomy spin-off that aired on May 3. The characters were so overly self-conscious and the dialogue so contrived that I found it not only impossible to believe any of them could be successful professionals helping others, but impossible to believe they were adults. Yes, they are all pretty, and thank god they're all newly single (what a great coincidence!), so sexual high jinks can now ensue. Unfortunately, that's not enough to make me care about any of them. Like you, I was hardly wowed by Grey's in the beginning, but I kept watching because there was so much potential. As of yet, I'm not seeing it on the spin-off, which is likely to amount to a waste of great talent. Answer: Such was the tone of most of the mail I got in regards to the "backdoor pilot" spin-off. I was amused when DJ wrote in to note, "I mean, c'mon, there's already a soapy, sometimes degrading, private-practice medical show on TV like that: It's called read more

Anatomy of a Spin-off: A Rocky Start

Tim Daly and Kate Walsh by Ron Tom/ABC

Watching Thursday night's underwhelming, overly frenetic "backdoor pilot" setup for the seemingly inevitable Grey's Anatomy spin-off, I was reminded how blown away I wasn't by the original Grey's pilot as well. The Grey's pilot had its problems, but this glossy new twist on the formula seems much more problematic.When Grey's first appeared, with the pilot held for mid-season in a year when Lost and Desperate Housewives exploded on the scene and turned ABC's fortunes around, my initial thoughts were: Loved the cast. Liked the characters. But at first look, the reliance on heavy-handed voice-over (since dialed back a bit) and woe-is-me, life-as-an-intern-is-hard whining obscured many of the charms that would soon emerge, and it felt a bit generic.By the end of that first half-season, though, I was hooked. The heightened mix of hospital drama and romantic comedy, lathered in torrid and twisty soap operatics, was infectious, and the wonderfully blended (by sex and race) cast pulled it o... read more

I know that since the ...

Kate Walsh, Grey's Anatomy

Question: I know that since the announcement of Addison's spin-off of Grey's Anatomy, you have been against the idea. And at the beginning, I was in complete agreement with you. Grey's is my favorite show, and I love the Addison character. I think her absence will change the dynamic of the show, and I was hoping she and Alex would have a fling — I guess that's not going to happen now. However, the recent casting announcements are piquing my interest (I'm a huge Amy Brenneman fan and I've always loved Tim Daly), and I'm very curious to see how the new show will be structured. Given the new information, has your opinion changed? Answer: I still don't really have an opinion, since I haven't seen it and it's not my practice to pre-judge. Shows, anyway. My initial resistance was to the programming imperative that seeks to clone hits to improve the bottom line, regardless of its impact on the creative process. But I'll admit, as the cast of this backdoor pilot continues to take shape — Taye read more

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