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  Grey's News
 Posted: 03/31/06 04:43
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'Grey's Anatomy' celebrates the body eclectic

By Mike Duffy
GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

When "Grey's Anatomy" happily found Isaiah Washington, the actor knew exactly what sort of TV doctor he did not want to play:

The arrogant, standoffish, token Dr. African American.

"That kind of person can be done without a chip on his shoulder," says Washington. "I didn't want to be on a successful show and just put in a box."

Minority medical mission accomplished.

Dr. Preston Burke isn't just another stereotypical incarnation of Eriq LaSalle's Dr. Peter Benton on "ER." Burke's more evolved. He's started to open up and reveal shades of emotion. He's flawed, he's funny, he's taking a chance on romance.

Heck, you might even say he's the Other McDreamy.

When "Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes found Patrick Dempsey to portray Dr. Derek Shepherd (aka Dr. McDreamy) and then chose Washington to portray Dr. Burke, everything clicked.

"It meant we could have two leading men and two leading men in very different ways," says Rhimes, whose clever mix of drama, comedy, soap opera and hot doctors in love has become the highly rated sensation of Watercooler Nation this season.

Given an XL push by a post-Super Bowl episode that attracted 37.9 million viewers, "Grey's Anatomy" has even displaced the "Desperate Housewives" of Wisteria Lane as the most appealing part of ABC's Sunday night juggernaut.

"This isn't a traditional medical drama. I've always said from the beginning, we're a relationship show with surgery," says Rhimes. "It's never about the patients. It's about how the doctors feel about the patients."

Though "Grey's Anatomy" is anchored in the emotional odyssey of Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), the show's moody heroine, Washington's Dr. Burke is a prominent example of the show's impressive, almost matter-of-fact diversity.

People of color just happen to be in key positions of authority at Seattle Grace Hospital. Besides Dr. Burke's no-nonsense surgeon, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) is the avuncular chief of surgery. And Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) is the gruffly humane senior resident in charge of training the interns.

"I'm a post-Civil Rights baby. I'm not trying to make a point. This is just the way the world looks now," says Rhimes, 36, one of television's few female African-American series creators and show runners.

Rhimes, who spoke during a phone interview from her "Grey's Anatomy" offices in Los Angeles, had grown weary of programs that feature just "one black doctor in the hospital and one black cop or one Latino detective on the force."

On "Grey's Anatomy," multiculturalism is a casual fact of life. Half the regular cast are minorities, including Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), the Asian-American surgical intern who has captured Dr. Burke's heart.

But Rhimes avoids playing the race card in her stories.

"There's never going to be 'a very special episode' of 'Grey's' about race. I hate that sort of thing," says Rhimes, who first earned recognition for her screenwriting on such films as HBO's "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" and the comedy "The Princess Diaries 2."

Washington initially auditioned for the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd before Dempsey was cast as the dashing brain surgeon. But the actor was thrilled when Rhimes promised him that Burke wouldn't be fitted for the standard-issue, black-male emotional straitjacket.

"Race will fall away if you show the humanity of people," says Washington.

But when "Grey's Anatomy" premiered last spring, Dr. Burke made a chilly first impression as a perfectionist cardiothoracic surgeon who kept his emotions rigidly in check.

"He did start out sort of stone-faced," says the 42-year-old Washington, who talked during a phone interview from his home in Los Angeles. "But he's evolved into someone we see as an effective leader and someone who learns how to love and be loved."

One of the most illuminating hours of "Grey's Anatomy" came with last fall's Thanksgiving episode, where Burke proved to be a culinary magician.

"That's when Burke started to come out, not merely as an attending surgeon who's dating an intern but as a fully dimensional guy," explains Washington. "We discovered that he's someone who cooks, he's someone who has compassion."

The live-in, odd-couple romance of Dr. Burke and Dr. Yang has become one of the most touching and funny attractions of "Grey's Anatomy."

Writing that charming, quirky relationship has been a ball for Rhimes, who was hit with a happy thought when she imagined Dr. Burke's story.

"I couldn't wait to put him in a romantic relationship," says the producer. "We have a cast that can be really dramatic and really funny. It allows us to do so many things."

From: Greenville Online


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 04/12/06 14:39
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Meredith's a mess -- some 'Anatomy' fans hate her

Viewer feelings about the character Meredith Grey on 'Grey's Anatomy' tend to be love or hate.
BY CHUCK BARNEY

Some television viewers feel compassion for her, while others want to strangle her. But there's one thing upon which they can agree: It isn't all that easy to cozy up to Meredith Grey, the love-starved surgical intern played by Ellen Pompeo on ABC's Grey's Anatomy.

In addition to being moody, self-centered, rude and oh so whiny, she tends to make terrible life choices and sleep around. On the Internet, where each soapy element of the show is rigorously analyzed, detractors have labeled her everything from a ''major downer'' and ''tramp'' to that ugly word that rhymes with ''witch.'' But despite all this enmity, Grey's Anatomy is a Sunday-night sensation -- and that makes the complex Ms. Grey an intriguing case study.

''She defies all the norms of network television,'' says Lee Goldberg, a veteran producer. ``Traditionally, your lead character in a drama -- especially a woman -- isn't riddled with flaws. She's someone you like, someone you look up to. But Meredith? Oh man, she's a mess.''

For that mess, give credit (or blame) to Shonda Rhimes, the writer-producer who brought life to Meredith and her various foibles.

''She's a little screwed-up . . . She's not always nice. She doesn't always do or say the perfect thing,'' Rhimes acknowledges. 'She is somebody without a home, without a family, without ties. And she's a woman who, on many a bad day, goes to a bar, gets drunk, picks up a boy and brings him home. I remember thinking (while creating her), `She's every woman I know -- maybe a little heightened -- but that makes her more interesting.' ''

Things got especially interesting during a recent episode in which Meredith crushed the heart of her genial roommate George, a beloved character played by T.R. Knight. First, she impulsively had sex with him and then, realizing it was a horrendous mistake, spurned his affections. Meanwhile, much to the dismay of some fans, she continues to pine -- sometimes annoyingly -- for Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka ''Dr. McDreamy'' (Patrick Dempsey), a man with whom she had a fling before the revelation came that he was married.

After Meredith's interlude with George, Rhimes' writers' blog was pelted with protests. Rich Heldenfels, TV critic for The Akron Beacon Journal, spewed forth a scornful entry in his own blog under the headline ''I Hate Meredith Grey.'' In doing so, he not only found fault with the drama's writers and the wispy Pompeo's acting, but also suggested that Meredith should be axed and the show's title be changed to Anatomy.

But Meredith has her supporters among the show's predominantly female fan base. Pamela Herbert, a Walnut Creek, Calif., computer technician, points out her good traits (''She's sensitive and caring with her patients'') and insists that her deficiencies are ``a product of her background.''

Since she was a young girl, Meredith has been estranged from her father, who split after his wife cheated on him. Meredith's mother, once a gifted surgeon, is now afflicted with Alzheimer's.

''She's really stupid about men, but that's consistent with girls who don't have a strong father figure in their lives,'' Herbert says. ``They tend to look for love in all the wrong places.''

From: Miami Herald


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 04/12/06 16:15
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Delirious

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Yeesh. What a waste of paper... Why do reporters write such pointlessness?

But yeah, I either hate her or I love her... really depends on my mood, not hers. LOL


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 04/15/06 14:50
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Yup. I've not liked her so much the past couple episodes...since she slept with George. But I do have to say, felt a little bad for her in the recent episode with the sisters and dad thing. Not good.


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 04/15/06 16:34
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Delirious

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I felt bad for her too. And, I admit I felt bad about the whole George thing because I think he's acting like an idiot. I mean what did he expect? But Meredith does sleep around easily and sometimes, it's just hard to relate to her.

(Well, since her life is so fucked up, I'd say it's hard all the time, LOL).


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 04/23/06 00:23
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The allure of Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy is a sassy, sexy take on the medical drama and it has taken the world by storm.

2005 was a big year for hot new television drama's with Desperate Housewives and Lost so it was quite a surprise when Grey's came along.

The drama is centred on the personal and professional lives of five surgical interns and their supervisors and it has been both commercially and critically successful.

Last year it was nominated for three Emmy's (casting for a drama series, directing and supporting actress for Sandra Oh), though it won none and in 2006 it was given the nod for three Golden Globes (Supporting actress for Oh, best actor for Patrick Dempsey and best TV drama) with Oh winning in her category.

Added to that it is regularly out-rating Desperate Housewives in its Sunday night slot in the US.

So what is it about Grey's Anatomy that makes it so successful? The cast have their own ideas.

Isaiah Washington, who plays surgeon Preston Burke, thinks the personal touch has a lot to do with it.

"It's not really a medical show, in those 43 minutes we cram in a lot of life and personal relationships, falling in and out love, looking for love, looking for humanity in ourselves," says Washington.

But Sandra Oh, who plays his on screen sweetheart Cristina Yang, puts it down to one of her co-stars personal style.

"Patrick Dempsey's hair... I think it's a combination of the casting, and the writing, the style of the show... and the way it balances the comedy and the drama," she told Close Up.

All joking aside legions of female fans do believe Patrick Dempsey - aka Dr Mcdreamy - is a reason to watch the show.

Dempsey came to prominence in Hollywood playing a loveable nerd, who hires a cheerleader to be his girlfriend in 1987s Can't Buy Me Love. But, working on a medical drama has provided all sorts of challenges for Dempsey, not least of all overcoming dyslexia.

"I'm still overcoming it, it's always difficult with the medical terminology, I always get it backwards... it's frustrating but, you know its good because I forces me to work on the lines more than other people because I have to have it memorised," says Dempsey.

Just getting work can be a challenge for other cast members. As an Asian American actress Oh says it is difficult to get roles that tell her story, but she'd like to help change that and things are slowly changing.

"Its just a larger issue of who gets to tell our stories and its a part of what society is at this point and its a part of hopefully a wave that I would like to be a part of that would changing the face of who is on television and who represents ourselves," says Oh.

The Grey's Anatomy cast is almost as hard working as the doctors that they play, working seventeen hour days is the norm.

Katherine Heigl plays intern Isobel "Izzie" Stevens.

She is well known to New Zealand audiences. Heigl got her start playing Gerard Depardieu's daughter in the film My father The Hero and then hit our screens in the teen TV hit Roswell, where she played an alien, also called Isabel. She says with such a big cast its hard to fit everything into the day.

"It's a 10 person cast, which is hard to fit into any episode and then you've got the medical story lines... the surgery scenes themselves take up to 12 hours to shoot, one surgery scene so you factor that in and you've got maybe two or three surgery scenes in an eight day episode - you're going to be there a very long time," says Heigl.

Through those surgery scenes we do get to see a bit of blood and guts, but the operating theatre isn't centre stage in this drama. It is more about the mixed up lives of its characters some we love and some we love to hate.

From: TVNZ


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 05/02/06 13:08
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Love Is in the Air on 'Grey's Anatomy'

Meredith Grey really is trying to stay celibate. But with the sexy McVet pursuing her, it just doesn't seem possible.

(Spoiler alert: Stop reading now if you've saved this week's episode of "Grey's Anatomy" for later viewing.)

And Derek Shepherd is trying equally hard to forget Meredith, but the unexpected sight of her — fresh from the shower — at McVet's apartment seriously threw him. He raced home and propositioned his wife, but it seemed more like revenge sex than romance.

Things also heated up this week between Izzy and Denny: Against her wishes, he opted to have a portable device installed in his damaged heart, which allowed him to leave his hospital bed. Izzy was worried that Denny's heart might fail, but the machine seemed to be working. And there's a major upside: Denny and Izzy finally were able to put their arms around each other.

Trouble was, Dr. Bailey was just outside the door when they embraced. Bailey, who's been concerned that Izzy is crossing a line with Denny, didn't like what she saw. (Izzy's love life, however, wasn't Bailey's biggest worry this week: The Chief doesn't believe that Bailey's back on her game yet, so she's stuck earning back his confidence.)

But Izzy didn't notice Bailey's scrutiny — she was too busy dogging George to find out where he's been living and why he's stopped confiding in her. They argued, and George admitted he blames Izzy for not preventing his disastrous hookup with Meredith. But he finally relented and moved back into the house, bringing Dr. Callie home to spend the night.

In two intense subplots, both Burke and Addison faced difficult moments in the OR:

Addison was faced with a complicated request from a mother of seven who wanted her tubes tied without her husband's knowledge. Alex was furious that Addison feigned a "complication" on the operating table that rendered the woman sterile, and he suggested that the patient's husband sue the hospital.

Burke performed unsuccessful heart surgery on his hero, a concert violinist whose timing was being wrecked by the artificial beat of his pacemaker. After the musician died in surgery, Burke opened up to Cristina, explaining that a quote from the musician had changed his life: He wasn't the best or the brightest — he simply practiced.

That's the code Burke lives by.

From: Yahoo News


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 05/02/06 13:10
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'Grey's' blogs link fans to writers

While debating the fates of Meredith, McDreamy and other employees of the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital, setting of ABC's hit drama "Grey's Anatomy," the woman in line behind Stacy McKee at the checkout line advised her friend to "check the blog."

"The blog" in question was Grey Matter, created by the drama's creative team to give the audience an insider's view of the happenings behind the scenes at Seattle Grace. What the women in the checkout line didn't know is they could have just consulted McKee, one of "Grey's" writers.

"I was like 'Oh My God' that's me!'" says McKee, who is also the show's story editor. "I'm really weirded out now and I have to check out of this line and get out."

Since they began the blog, McKee and the other "Grey's" writers are becoming a little more familiar, at least by name, to fans. In posting their thoughts on writing and filming each of the medical drama's episodes, they're also getting a clearer idea of the show's popularity.

"The response to the blogs I think has surprised us all in a wonderful way," McKee says. "We wrote the entire (first) season before it ever aired and we were working in such a bubble that it certainly didn't occur to me. I thought, 'Oh like a handful of people will stumble online.' It never occurred to me that I could write a writer's blog and get 800 comments in two days."

The blog was born after a brainstorming session on ways to beef up the Web site for "Grey's Anatomy," which airs its next new episode at 9 p.m. today.

"At that point, we didn't know if other shows were doing it or even if they are now," writer and co-executive producer Mark Wilding says. "That sort of appealed to us and that way, you sort of talked to your audience a little bit and let them know where the ideas sort of sprung from."

Following each episode, a writer or show creator Shonda Rhimes will post about the inspiration behind that week's stories and how they fit into the overall vision for the show.

"Grey's" blogosphere also includes The Emerald City Bar and The Nurse's Station, which the staff ghostwrite on behalf of minor characters Nurse Debbie and Joe the Bartender.

From: The Montgomery Advisor


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/09/06 03:42
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Heigl Discusses 'Anatomy' Emmys and Izzie's Choices
Actress admits she doesn't agree with how her character reacted to Denny Douquette


In the wee small hours of Thursday (July 6) morning, ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" earned 11 Emmy nominations. What was co-star Katherine Heigl's reaction?

"Disappointment," she says with a pout, before a big smile begins to spread across her face. "What happened to mine? That's what I want to know. What happened to my nomination?"

And what about the old team spirit?

Heigl, Dr. Izzie Stevens on "Anatomy," pauses for a second and laughs. "Screw them."

Taking a pause on the Brentwood set of the Judd Apatow's "40 Year-Old Virgin" follow-up "Knocked Up," Heigl is able to move beyond her feigned disappointment to admit that she's been in touch with both of her nominated co-stars, Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh.

"I talked to Chandra and they're over in Europe right now doing publicity for the show and she's sort of kind of like dumbstruck right now," Heigl says. "I was like 'How do you feel? Are you excited?' And she was like 'I don't know. I don't know how I feel yet.' It's just so deserving. She's so unbelievably talented and has worked long and hard in this industry like the rest of us and I'm just really, really proud of her."

She continues, "I have not gotten hold of Sandra yet, but I think Sandra is probably up to her eyeballs in rehearsals and performances in New York for her play that she's doing, but again, just another person who's really so talented and so deserving. But I wonder if this year she's like, 'Eh, this is old hat. I was nominated last year. Whatever.' I wonder if you ever get like that."

For her part, Heigl is just enjoying the perks of being on a hit TV series, like the chance to have the female lead in a big studio comedy. "Knocked Up" isn't expected to be released until next summer, but it's already eaten up all of Heigl's hiatus this summer.

"I can't even imagine going back to work in two weeks on 'Grey's,'" she sighs. "I'm exhausted. I do think it's one of those situations, my agent likes to say it's a high-class problem. I spent a lot of years out of work, so I'd rather be tired and over-worked than bored and under-worked. It's been an amazing year."

Certainly she has loose ends to tie up when shooting begins again. Last season's two-part finale left many "Anatomy" fans frustrated at Izzie's ill-fated decisions regarding Jeffrey Dean Morgan's soulful heart-transplant patient Denny Duquette, a choice that makes her character's medical future uncertain as the new season begins. Heigl's heard a variety of reactions from fans.

"People are angry and people are sympathetic," she says. "It kind of runs the gamut."

She continues, "I'm actually more angry than sympathetic. I can't believe she threw her career away. I just can't believe it."

So all of the viewers who felt incredulous and waved fists at their TVs in impotent rage have an ally in Heigl, though the actress understands why showrunner Shonda Rhimes and the rest of the creative team went in that direction.

"It was a great sort of creative choice," she admits. "As far as acting goes, it was great drama. But because I know the character so well and she's worked so unbelievably hard to be taken seriously as a doctor and all the years of schooling to get there, I was so devastated. Is like, 'Noooooo... She's worked too hard to throw it all away. She doesn't even know him!' But it was good drama."

But don't expect any hints from Heigl on where things are going this fall.

"Not only can I not tell, but I don't know myself, so it's one of those conversations where you're just like, 'I don't know! I'd just keep watching. Keep watching! We've moved to Thursday nights, so keep watching!'"

From: Zap2It


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/10/06 06:55
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Delirious

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I wish someone besides Sandra Oh would get some attention; I don't think she's that good. Glad Chanrda was nominated at least, but most of that cast deserves it.

Anyways...

I'm glad KH was annoyed by Izzie's choices, though the least of my annoyance was her quitting. LOL I hated her decisions regarding Denny throughout, but then I think I'm the only one on planet earth that hated him. Quitting actually made sense AFTER everything else she did... LOL


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/10/06 11:56
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Hammered

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nothing surprises me anymore so it was more the denny dying that upset me than izzie quitting. you'd have to be a speical kinda stupid to not see it coming.


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/10/06 13:21
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Delirious

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Damn Denny.

It's ALL his fault.

And, yeah, quitting was really obvious...


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/12/06 13:46
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Way too obvious. But if she didn't quit, it would of seemed stupid considering the rest of her previous actions.


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/13/06 09:27
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Delirious

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Yeah. Now what will she do?

I hate Denny.


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/16/06 01:54
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No idea. And I'd like to know how they're going to spin it so she's allowed to come back.


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/16/06 07:47
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Delirious

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I hate Denny. That. Is. All.

Seriously.

Denny sucks.

That would be some hilarious spin though 'cause yeah, ain't no way she would be allowed back at the hospital. I don't even think they'd let her clean bedpans.


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  Grey's News
 Posted: 07/17/06 10:11
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CBS Expects Competitive Thursday for 'CSI'
Entertainment Chief Tassler Sees 'Grey's Anatomy' as Ratings Challenger


By Christopher Lisotta

CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said she sees her Thursday drama "CSI" as something of an "underdog" this fall now that ABC is moving its medical series "Grey's Anatomy" to that night from Sundays.

"We expect to be dinged a little bit by 'Grey's,'" Ms. Tassler said Saturday at CBS's executive session at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Pasadena, Calif. "Its going to be very complicated."

But "two hit shows can be successful" in the same time period, Ms. Tassler said.

While "CSI" will be playing up the relationship between lead characters Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle this season, that character-based storyline has been building since the beginning of last season and is not a reaction to "Grey's" moving to Thursdays, she said.

CBS is being "more aggressive" in development this summer, with actress Christine Taylor starring in a pilot directed and written by her husband Ben Stiller, and "Two and a Half Men" creator Chuck Lorre developing his comedy project "Big Bang Theory."

The change in its previously announced Monday schedule, with debut comedy "The Class" flipping with sophomore comedy "How I Met Your Mother" at 8 p.m. (ET), was designed to keep "Mother" in the same time period it was in this past season and allow the show "to bask in the halo from promo of 'The Class.'"

After taking repeated questions about whether networks are alienating their audiences when they cancel serialized series and leave a small yet dedicated group of viewers hanging over the show's resolution, Ms. Tassler noted people don't watch serialized or closed-ended shows, they watch things they like.

"You watch a show because it's good," she said. "You're invested and you like it--that's it."

CBS has no plans to bring back original programming to Saturdays, Ms. Tassler said.

"Our Saturday night does fine," she said. "We're certainly open to it if the show presented itself, but we are going to be stet on Saturday."

Moving crime drama "Cold Case" to 9 p.m. on Sundays is a good scheduling move for CBS, since football overruns this past season often pushed "Case" into the 9 p.m. time period. In those instances "it's done quite well" against ABC powerhouse "Desperate Housewives," Ms. Tassler said.

One critic asked Ms. Tassler about the failure of summer reality series "Tuesday Night Book Club," and wondered "does it not matter what you put on in the summertime?"

"It was an attempt to do something different," Ms. Tassler said. "We're going to try different things. That's what summer is about."

From: TV Week


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