This just in from press tour: ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson is speaking out about Grey’s Anatomy‘s controversial ghost story involving Izzie and Denny. “[Denny] is not a ghost, which you will learn,” he says. “I actually think when you get to the end of the season and you see everything she had in mind, it might not be your cup of tea, but I think you’ll be surprised at how insightful and smart that storyline itself is in terms of the dynamics it’s creating for the characters involved and where we end up with those characters at the end… The viewers will be the judge. That’s the good and the bad about this business. I think shows ebb and flow. And when you talk about long-term serialized dramas, you’re going to have some stuff that people don’t respond to.”
Other highlights from the Alphabet’s exec session:
• On whether he’ll air the remaining episodes of Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money: “We’d like to air the end of those shows,” said McPherson. “I wish we had been [able to give] the producers series-ending notice so they could really have a finale. But because of the way the timing worked out, we weren’t able to. I really love those shows. They delivered what they promised. For us, it was a frustration that we couldn’t find a larger audience – or that Nielsen couldn’t find a larger audience. ” (Odd response considering producers of all three shows did have time to craft series-ending episodes. This demands a post-panel follow-up.)
• On getting Marc Cherry to reconsider ending Desperate Housewives after just seven seasons: “I think he finally realized that I would lock him up and not let him do that.”
• McPherson is satisfied with the creative direction of Private Practice, and has high hopes for the show’s upcoming crossover arc with Grey’s.
Coming up at 12:45 pm/PST: Live-blogging Team Darlton’s Lost panel!