The Ausiello Files for Sept. 19, 2008
‘Grey’s Anatomy’: the next generation
In its fifth season, is Grey’s Anatomy taking precautions to avoid turnoveritis, the potentially fatal disease that hits aging series when they shed their original stars? On the heels of Journeyman star Kevin McKidd’s addition to Seattle Grace’s rotation as a former Iraq doc with eyes for Cristina (Sandra Oh), sources confirm that Janina Gavankar (The L Word) and Brandon Scott (Cold Case) will arrive later this fall as new interns. With last year’s full-time additions of Brooke Smith and Chyler Leigh, that makes for an entirely new ensemble ready to step up should Patrick Dempsey and Co. opt to step down when their seven-year pacts expire. (Or, if the Katherine Heigl buzz is to be believed, before.) But one veteran showrunner says the infusion of new blood may be creator Shonda Rhimes’ way of getting her marquee talent to stick around longer. ”If you want to keep your veteran actors happy and enthused, one way to do that is lighten up their work schedules,” says the producer. ”Bringing in more characters helps with that.”
Promos for Anatomy‘s Sept. 25 opener imply something bad happens to Dempsey’s Derek. I can confirm that two of the following take place, one for real and the other in Meredith’s imagination. Care to do a little pre-premiere guessing?
A: Rose stabs Derek.
B: Derek suffers a heart attack and is visited by the ghost of Denny.
C: Dr. Burke returns and shoots Derek in the face before turning the gun on himself.
D: In a flashback, we learn Derek got into a car accident shortly after leaving Meredith in the candle field.
Q: Are there any new characters on Ugly Betty this season? —Khaoula
A: Remember the swarthy (and ultimately doomed) freighter captain on Lost last season? You know, the one who was whacked last May? His real name is Grant Bowler, and he’s dropping anchor at Meade Publications as the company’s new CFO/ladies’ man. As Ugly Betty executive producer Silvio Horta explains, ”He’s hot and cool, and all the women are in love with him.” In other words, he’s just like Daniel…only (hopefully) a lot less boring.
Q: Got any scoop on Jim and Pam’s relationship on The Office? Is this the season they finally take things to the next level? —Sara
A: Keep on the lookout for a dark cloud with a silver lining: Rumor has it that something momentous (and long overdue) takes place between the star-crossed lovers during a fierce rainstorm.
Q: How long is Shannen Doherty going to be sticking around on 90210? —Dawn
A: She’s on board for four episodes, and, as of now, that’s it. ”They asked me to [stay on longer],” says Doherty. ”But I couldn’t commit to more than that.” The actress-producer says she’s busy ”pitching a [new] show” to the networks. She declined to provide details, so, as an objective observer, I must assume there ain’t a chance in hell it’s more important than 90210! Get back here, Doherty!
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