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Grey’s Doc Spins Off
The good doctors at Seattle Grace may be focused on resuscitating Meredith Grey, but it’s another female character who’s moving to a better place.
According to the Wall Street Journal, ABC is attempting to duplicate the juggernaut success the network has achieved with Grey’s Anatomy by moving forward on a spinoff centering on Kate Walsh’s character of Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd.
A spokesperson for the network told the paper that a series title has not yet been determined, nor has a general plotówhether Walsh’s character will remain in Seattle, move back to New York or do something else entirely is still up in the air.
ABC Television Studio, the series’ producer, confirmed to E! News that a possible new series is in the works.
“We are producing an enhanced episode that has a potential for an afterlife,” a rep said, declining to comment beyond the details in the Wall Street Journal report.
Walsh and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes are said to be under contract for the new series; neither would comment Wednesday.
The show will apparently give plenty of screen time to Addison, who has emerged from hated third party in Grey’s Anatomy’s central love triangle to become one of the most popular characters on the show.
The spinoff would allow Rhimes to be able to focus on a single character, something that is hard to do on the current show, where story lines and screen time are divvied up among 12 regular characters, something Rhimes herself has said is hard to juggle.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Rhimes only recently broke the news of the spinoff to the cast, and it’s not expected than any other characters will jump ship along with Walsh to the new seriesópotentially disappointing (and spoilerish) news for fans of the budding Addison-Alex love connection.
The castmembers will, however, be involved in the set up for Addison’s sendoff.
Per the Wall Street Journal, Rhimes is writing a special two-hour episode of Grey’s Anatomy that will effectively serve as the Addison-centric series’ pilot.
The episode is expected to air during May sweeps, allowing time for the network to decide whether or not to pick up the show for placement on its fall schedule. (In other words, ABC is waiting to see if the premise is more Rhoda than Joey.)
As it is, Grey’s Anatomy, currently in its third season, has routinely topped the Nielsen ratings and just last week averaged 26 million viewers. Even a portion of those figures for the new show would make it a success.
Rhimes has reportedly put on hold another of her anticipated projects to move quickly on the spinoff. It’s unclear when she made the decision to pursue the new show, but last fall she postponed work on another drama series that was expected to debut midseason.
That show was due to chronicle the lives of four female journalists and also had Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Grey’s Anatomy’s late Denny Duquette, on board to star. That project will now be pushed back even further.