The 5 most shocking stories from the new, unauthorized ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ oral history

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Why did Katherine Heigly Really Relieve “gray’s anatomy?” Did McDreamy’s McAttitude Pay the Price for His Surgical Privileges? When will this beloved show turn off its scalpel for good?

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The answer – well, speculation – to these questions lies in “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story Of” gray’s anatomy(St. Martin’s Press, 320 pp.), by Entertainment Weekly editor-at-large Lynette Rice, out now.

Rice wrote an oral history of television’s longest-running medical drama (its 18th season premiered September 30) with near-surgical accuracy, including a mix of extensive interviews with writers, actors, former crew members, and executives. Not to mention a compelling collage. of interviews archived over the years. But some stories are likely to remain behind operating-room doors.


“It’s one of the biggest successes in television history and the story of the rise of an amazing producer, actor, of all things,” an unnamed source told Rice. “But for me, the real story will never be fully told, because people won’t talk — at least on the record, like me.”

From our interview with Ellen Pompeo:Ellen Pompeo on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Landmark Episode, Ariana Grande Video, and Sandra Oh’s Email

Patrick Dempsey’s Alleged ‘HR Issues’

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The series – created by then-unknown Shonda Rhimes – premiered in 2005, starring Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) and four fellow surgical interns (Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, TR Knight and Justin Chambers) navigating drug and relationships. In front of the camera became (and remains) a real hit, however, it saw more than its fair share of drama behind it.

Patrick Dempsey may have played Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd for the first 11 seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy,” his personality apparently became anything but 15 hours a day for 10 months a year. After the.

“There were human resources issues,” said executive producer and writer James D. Parriott said. “It wasn’t sexual in any way. He was terrorizing the set. Some of the actors had all kinds of PTSD with him. He had a hold on set where he knew he could shut down production and scare people. Maybe … he and Shonda were at each other’s throats.”

His character’s death (after being hit by a truck) may have shocked fans, but death was the only way for the character to go.

“She and Meredith were such an incredibly bonding couple at the time,” said writer Stacey Mackie. “It would be completely out of character if he left his kids.”

Dempsey reprises his role Offering both fans (and actors) a chance for a reunion — which seemed more sweet than sour — during a series of COVID-inspired dreams of Meredith in Season 17.

Why exactly did Katherine Heigl leave?

has been discussed a lot about IzzyKay (Heigl) dropped out of the show, but Rice’s timeline suggests that there were a myriad of factors behind his exit. Most Famous Controversy: When Heigl publicly stated that she hadn’t presented herself for an Emmy in less than a year (for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2007) her lack of (in her opinion) material Because of that given to him at that time.

“I could have said that more elegantly without going into a personal work case,” she said. “It was between me and the writers. I ambushed them, and it wasn’t very good or fair.”

He also told David Letterman about working long hours, especially on behalf of the crew – although the facts she was speaking to him were unclear at the time.

Ultimately, Heigl left after adopting her first child with husband Josh Kelly. She said that starting a family “changed everything” and she no longer longed for full-time work. A former ABC Studios executive said he could have reached a happy medium but Heigl was after a film career. Another “person familiar with the situation” said she and Rhimes had difficulty working together.

Whatever the case, Heigl’s career never really recovered after all this (though his new Netflix series “firefly lane” earned a second season renewal).

Why did Isaiah come back to Washington?

Imagine being homosexually abused behind your back by a coworker of yours. Then imagine that coworker denies it to the press a few months later at the 2007 Golden Globe Awards.

Same happened with TR Knight when Isaiah Washington (Dr. Preston Burke in the show) used a homophobic slur during an on-set physical altercation with Dempsey. “You can’t talk to me the way you talk to that little (disrespectful) TR,” he said.

Despite the public apology, Washington later insisted that he never used the term and actually advocated for Burke to be gay. He was soon kicked out of the show at the end of Season 3, only to reappear in Season 10 to aid in the departure of former fiancé Christina Yang (Oh).

Rhimes defends getting him back in the fold.

“I feel very strongly and completely believe that people’s ability to grow and change is to learn from their mistakes, and when they know better, to do better,” she said.

Ahh:Isaiah Washington feuds with former Grey’s Anatomy co-star Katherine Heigl

Ellen Pompeo reformed a toxic culture – but did she contribute to it too?

Pompeo’s tenure on the show has given him a lot of clout, and he has talked about improving a Previously Toxic Work Culture. But he may have contributed to such a culture himself.

One incident details the departure of Stephanie (Jerica Hinton) at the end of season 13. Reportedly, Pompeo was unhappy Hinton took personal photos on set without asking her first. According to makeup artist Norman Levitt, “(Jerica) wasn’t much, so she probably didn’t understand Ellen’s power.” “If she would go and say, ‘Is it okay if I get this Polaroid?’ Ellen might have gone, ‘Okay.’ But just by including and involving him, you are setting yourself up for disaster.” Hinton did not speak to Rice about the incident in the book.

More on the COVID season:‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is ‘not responsible for the politicization of COVID,’ Ellen Pompeo says about new pandemic season

‘Grey’ can literally go on forever

It might not be so shocking—but in a certain way, it remains astounding. Season 17 was written as if it could be the last season. “The reason why you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh’ every episode is because we approached it with a certain reverence of ‘Okay. if this is the last season And we’re doing COVID, what are we doing?” said showrunner Krista Vernoff.

Rhimes is still pinching himself, saying he’s written at least six different endings.

“But we’re not finished yet,” she said.

For all of us, it’s best to pull the LVAD wire as soon as possible before even more drama ensues.

Incredible:7 Reasons Why ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Has Overtaken ‘ER’

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