Thursday, February 28, 2008

Even More "Good Medicine"

The stars of TV's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" are coming to the rescue of writers and crew knocked for a loop by the writers strike.

Almost all the stars of the two popular ABC series will gather Friday for "Good Medicine," a night of music and humor to raise money for the Solidarity Fund, which was organized by the Writers Guild of America to help members of film and TV productions put out of work by the strike, which finally ended two weeks ago.

Friday's "Good Medicine" concert at UCLA's Royce Hall will bring together a long list of familiar TV faces from both "Grey's" and its spinoff "Private Practice," including Ellen Pompeo, Katherine Heigl, Audra McDonald, Sandra Oh, T.R. Knight, Amy Brenneman, Tim Daly and a whole lot more.

"Everyone wanted to be involved," said the twice Emmy-nominated Oh, best-known as Dr. Christina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy," and an actress in the Academy Award-winning films "Sideways" and "The Red Violin."

Oh said those attending Friday can expect a segment in which cast members read some of the best fan writing about the shows taken from Web sites devoted to the two medical dramas. There will also be humorous explanations of behind-the-scenes jobs such as "best boy" and "key grip."

Oh added, "I'm really looking forward to hearing some of my fellow cast members sing."

The WGA's Solidarity Fund was created during the strike, which lasted more than 100 days and ended just in time for last weekend's Oscars. Most networks, now in the midst of accelerated production schedules, are bringing shows back in April.

The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning "Grey's Anatomy" debuted on ABC as a midseason replacement in 2005, immediately following "Desperate Housewives." The series revolves around Dr. Meredith Grey (Pompeo), who began the show as a surgical intern at Seattle Grace Hospital. The spinoff, "Private Practice," starring Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery, debuted last winter.

Oh, who spent some time in January on the picket line to show solidarity for the "Grey's" staff, said she noticed the strikers were getting "really nervous" as the work stoppage wore on.

"I heard things like, 'I have enough saved to get by for one more month,' " she recalled. "There was this underlying worry. People were starting to think it could go on for months and months."

Oh used her time off to simply "recharge" after "a hectic four seasons."

She added, "Now that everybody's recharged, we're going to get some really good stuff on the show this year. We have well-rested writers with a burst of creativity. I think we're all excited to see what's going to happen."

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