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The Ausiello Files for November 14, 2008

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Why did Grey’s discharge Dr. Hahn?
Grey’s Anatomy‘s first significant same-sex romance, between Brooke Smith’s Dr. Erica Hahn and Sara Ramirez’s Dr. Callie Torres, came to an abrupt and anticlimactic end in the Nov. 6 episode, when Dr. Hahn left work for the day, presumably to return — but she never will. Smith was suddenly released from her contract, and she’s not quite sure why. But one show insider tells me that Dr. Hahn may have been booted, at least in part, because ABC wasn’t digging Callica.

My source says that this fall network execs expressed concerns to series creator Shonda Rhimes about some explicit aspects of the love story, specifically recent episodes with Callie rhapsodizing about exploring Erica’s ”undiscovered country…south of the border.” (ABC declined to comment.) But Smith heard no bad buzz: In fact, she says that after shooting her monologue in the Oct. 30 episode, in which Erica had the revelation that she is gay, producers raved that ”it was one of the best scenes they ever shot. So I was floored when they told me [I was being let go after only one more episode].”

Another insider says ABC just disliked the brash Hahn, and homosexuality had nothing to do with it; after all, Meredith’s bisexual BFF (played by Melissa George) arrives on Nov. 13. The bigger story, some say, is that execs are imposing creative decisions in ways that they previously never had. Smith didn’t feel her departure was Rhimes’ choice, saying, ”It definitely seemed like [her] hands were tied…. She seemed upset.” But Rhimes took responsibility in a statement: ”Sara Ramirez is an incredible comedic and dramatic actress and we wanted to be able to play up her magic. Unfortunately, we did not find that the magic and chemistry with Brooke’s character would sustain in the long run.” Whatever the reason, Dr. Hahn has magically disappeared.

Ask Ausiello

Q: Now that we’ve seen the big House-Cuddy smooch, what can we expect from these two next?Samantha
A: Less kissing, more hissing. The fallout from an emergency at Princeton Plainsboro will force Cuddy to temporarily move into House’s office, thereby creating a new, even bigger emergency. How bad do things get between the modern-day Sam and Diane? Picture The War of the Roses with different leads, more bruised egos, and less attempted murder.

Q: Got any scoop on the series finale of The Shield?Thomas
A: Yes, but I’m going to be extra careful and slap a ”major spoiler alert” on this thing: Nov. 25’s 90-minute capper features at least four significant deaths, one of the most intense Mackey-Claudette confrontations ever, and a final scene that is equal parts funny, tragic, and suspenseful. Oh, I forgot to add satisfying. Insanely satisfying.

Q: When is Greek returning? And what do you have in the way of scoop?DL
A: The super-fun college soap returns in March and the action picks up at the start of a new school year. ”We’re finally out of Rusty’s freshman year,” declares the show’s creator, Patrick Sean Smith. ”New year, new fun, new pledges!” Speaking of new pledges, one of them is kind of famous: Actor-singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney is joining the cast as Andy, a heavily recruited freshman jock who’ll be torn between rushing the Kappa Tau and Omega Chi houses.

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