Sunday, March 29, 2009

'Grey's' Cast Celebrates 100th Episode; Rhimes Remains Mum

LOS ANGELES — Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) will get their wedding day in Grey's Anatomy's 100th episode and a wedding will take place on the ABC drama. However, Shonda Rhimes, the famously tight-lipped creator and executive producer, won't reveal if it will be Meredith and Derek tying the knot.

Rhimes and her cast, writers and crew took a break from filming the episode to gather on Grey's Los Angeles set Friday to cut a cake celebrating the 100th, which will run May 7. She says she hadn't been focusing on the milestone, when "suddenly we were hitting 100, which feels kind of amazing and very fast." She says she thinks she could do 100 more.

"We're really excited, especially the way it's finishing the season, both creative and in the ratings," says Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment Group. "Some of the questions people had mid-season about storylines are being answered and people who perhaps haven't been as fond of what we were doing are actually coming around and understand what we had in mind."

Rhimes promises viewers will see Izzie (Katherine Heigl), who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive melanoma, fight for her life and Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Owen (Kevin McKidd), work on their intense relationship, which has been sidetracked by his post-traumatic stress disorder. Oh says viewers will see more of Cristina's sensitive side and Dempsey says Derek will have "some great resolve with Sloan (Eric Dane)."

As for rumors that Heigl and colleague T.R. Knight, who plays George, could be leaving the show, Rhimes says, "As far as I know, when we go out this season, everybody's still going to be around."

And Heigl, asked if she wanted to leave or would leave, says, "No. I signed the same contract everybody else" did. She says she loves Izzie's cancer storyline and doesn't know if the character will live or die. "It's very weird. I keep trying to get it out of them and they kind of shrug their shoulders and shake their heads at me and I don't know: Is that good or bad? Am I dead or am I alive? Where is this going?"

As for the story of Izzie's illness, she says:"When I'm challenged like this … I just feel a deep sense of gratitude."

Pompeo acknowledged that the Izzie-Denny story "went on a little too long with no explanation. Now that we're seeing why that happened, people are, 'Oh, Ok. There's a reason for it.' " She says Grey's has come back around after some "not-so-great episodes," which can't be avoided with so many episodes per season. She thanks fans for sticking with it. "Without the fans, we wouldn't be anywhere."

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