From TV rookies to seasoned veterans, the duo creates a Washington, D.C. drama with Kerry Washington
Producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers have had more public years on the job than this one since "Grey's Anatomy" premiered on ABC seven years ago. There was that debut season, obviously, where "Grey's" went from ABC afterthought (it was only supposed to have the post-"Desperate Housewives" timeslot for four weeks before giving way to "Boston Legal") into pop culture sensation. Or there were the various periods of controversy involving Isaiah Washington and/or Katherine Heigl, or various stories that proved divisive among "Grey's" viewership (ghost sex! George and Izzie!).
I'm not sure the partnership has had a busier year than this one, though. "Grey's" is still chugging along, but original stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey aren't under contract for next season, and episodes have to be written not knowing if one or both of Meredith and Derek will be leaving. Spin-off "Private Practice," after years of airing in a protected post-"Grey's" timeslot, will be moved to another night (albeit after the "Dancing with the Stars" results show) starting Tuesday, April 17.
The Thursday at 10 slot, meanwhile, will go this week to "Scandal," the Rhimes-created drama about powerful Washington, D.C. fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), who once was very close to the sitting president before leaving his staff to start up her own crisis management firm. The character's inspired by real-life D.C. crisis expert Judy Smith, who's a producer on the series, which co-stars Henry Ian Cusick and Columbus Short as members of Olivia's large team, Tony Goldwyn as the president and Jeff Perry (Thatcher Grey from "Grey's") as his chief of staff, among others(*).