Thursday, May 7, 2009

Casting Chemistry Keeps 'Grey's' Fresh

From the start, "Grey's Anatomy" creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes hoped the large ensemble cast would keep the show, set in a teaching hospital, fresh.

"When I came up with the pilot, it was about this group of young people and the people who taught them, and it just evolved," Rhimes says. "In the first season, we were only telling stories about the interns and their relationships. We still are, but to a greater extent, the show has expanded to where we tell full stories about (characters such as) Bailey now, which is something we never did in season one."


"For keeping a show alive, you really have to be able to adapt and be flexible and figure out new ways to introduce new characters that the audience is going to care about," Rhimes says.

"Every single season is slightly different," adds "Grey's" executive producer Betsy Beers. "The characters are growing at different paces. Some you get to know very quickly, like Meredith (Ellen Pompeo); then there are people like Alex (Justin Chambers) who we're still getting to know."


The tone was set with the original cast: Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey (Derek), Sandra Oh (Cristina), Isaiah Washington (Burke), Katherine Heigl (Izzie), T.R. Knight (George), Chambers, Wilson and Pickens.

"The original (members were) well-cast all around," Chicago Tribune TV critic Maureen Ryan says. "There were people whose faces you'd seen before, but you might not be able to name them. When you're not overwhelmed by their previous resume, that's the ideal thing. You want them to know what they're doing, you want them to have chemistry with their fellow actors, and you just want to get into the story."

Full article available here
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