Wednesday, September 9, 2009

TV Guide's Fall Preview

There are some big changes on Grey's Anatomy this season according to TV Guide:
What's Next:
The new season begins minutes after George's death and Izzie's miraculous recovery with two back to back episodes. "Good Mourning" and "Good Bye" both written by [Krista] Vernoff.

"George is going to have a beautiful funeral," she says, hinting at lots of pass-the-kleenex moments. "This is wretched for Izzie, because George was her touchstone, the man she loved most of all, and for Meredith, who had that moment of total horror when she discovered his identity and had to let everyone know."

Yet, she promises, there will also be humor, "The heart of the series is the way the tragedy and drama are always mixed with a healthy dose of funny, even in the face of such a profound loss."

As always, love will be a tricky procedure: "We are starting the season with five couples," Vernoff says, "I'd be surprised if we ended with five couples, but you never know."

What's New:
The show may be without its title character due to Pompeo's real-life pregnancy (she's due in October). Vernoff predicts Mer will appear in at least the first six episodes of the season and promises and interesting excuse to explain her absence.

And Heigl's burgeoning film career will inevitably cause a decrease in her screen time as well. "We are trying to write defensively," Vernoff says of working around the two actresses' schedules.

As a result, we could see more storylines revolving around actors like Dane -- who certainly has more to offer than getting his pe nis broken -- and we may see a lighter side of McKidd's war-traumatized surgeon.

Who's Stepping Up;
Watch for Emmy nominated scene-stealer Chandra Wilson to put a few more feathers in her cap. She will appear in another cross-over episode with Private Practice (adding a little more heat to the spark between her character and Taye Diggs' Sam perhaps?) scheduled for October 15th, and this season Wilson will become the first cast member to direct an episode of Grey's.

Casting Shake-Up On Grey's
Grey's Anatomy is adding three new docs to solve a short term problem - and perhaps lay the foundation for its long term future. In the season's fifth episode, Nora Zehetner, Jesse Williams and Robert Baker debut as residents from Seattle Grace's rival hospital Mercy West. They will rub shoulders -- and in some cases --but head's-- with their crosstown peers when a merger forces the staff to coexist on Seattle Grace turf. Might these three recurring players ultimately be keepers? "That is the hope," says a source close to one of the newcomers.

A Grey's set-sider add that it's possible some of the characters could take on major roles in the long run. Whatever the case, these changes will help the ABC series navigate a tricky time. Having already lost George, viewers will see less of Meredith and virtually no Izzie this fall as Ellen Pompeo goes on maternity leave and Katherine Heigl takes a hiatus to shoot a movie (Izzie loses her job in the merger).

Alex, Cristina and Lexie will interact the most with the Mercy folks. While Mer's pals may give them the cold shoulder, if viewers warm up to the new faces, Grey's could keep going for years, even if more original cast members decide to turn in their lab coats. (Hey, it worked for ER).

'The season that changes everything' indeed.
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