Studio Shows Rhimes, Cast the Money

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Three More Years!
Looks like the woman who brought us Grey's Anatomy is sticking around! Shonda Rhimes will be "on call" for at least three more years, having inked a contract extension with Touchstone Television that runs through the 2008-09 season.

The show's creator and executive producer, Rhimes had just completed the first year of a two-year deal, which included a one-year option, that she signed in May 2005. The new three-year deal is said to be worth about $10 million, vaulting her into the upper tier of TV writers/producers.

Rhimes' pact reflects the importance of the medical drama to Touchstone as well as ABC, which is counting on Grey's Anatomy to revive its longstanding Thursday woes this fall. The show became a monster hit for the network as a midseason entry in the 2004-05 season, thriving in the Sunday 10 p.m. slot behind Desperate Housewives.

Rhimes, who is also working on a new pilot for ABC about a group of female journalists with former Grey's guest star Jeffrey Dean Morgan as part of the ensemble cast, isn't the only one getting a little extra cash.

Sources say Touchstone handed out $200,000 bonus checks to each of the show's 10 principal cast members, possibly in hopes of staving off future contract disputes. In light of the show's meteoric rise in ratings, it's almos
Justin Chambers as Alex Karev
t a foregone conclusion that the cast will want to negotiate its existing deals to include significant salary increases.

Hopefully, the studio and network know the value of what they've got and are willing to make the appropriate concessions to retain these talented performers. The last thing we need is for Justin Chambers to pull a Terrell Owens and hold out. After all, Alex admittedly hates his team...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Meredith: You're me.
Amelia: What?
Meredith: You're me before Derek. I can be here for you. I can do this. I get you. I can be a twisted sister for you. Just tell me how do you want to play this?

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)