A surprise reunion for the resurgent Isaiah Washington and two of his former Grey's Anatomy co-stars - James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson - took place at an event for a good cause.
The actor, who was let go from the ABC hit in June, unexpectedly showed up Saturday at Kiki Shepard's 5th Annual Celebrity Bowling Challenge to "Bowl a Strike for Sickle Cell Disease" at the PINZ Entertainment Center in L.A.
Carrying an unlit cigar, Washington opted not to bowl and instead watched as James Pickens, Jr., who plays Dr. Richard Webber on Grey's Anatomy, showed off his bowling skills with a few strikes and a couple of spares.
As we reported yesterday, however, Isaiah Washington, 43, has already made a strike of his own.
The actor has landed some new TV roles, including a guest-starring role on this fall's NBC remake of The Bionic Woman with Michelle Ryan.
He's also landed a development deal as the lead star in a potential action drama he pitched to NBC for the 2008-09 season, according to USA Today.
While details of his role on The Bionic Woman remain a mystery, NBC co-chair Ben Silverman thinks this could be a stepping stone for Washington.
"I think he could be an action star," Silverman said. "There aren't any African-American action stars on television, so I thought we'd give him a forum to do his thing."
Silverman, who knows Washington through a mutual friend who's organizing charitable events in Africa, made the decision to hire Washington based on personal knowledge rather than the hype surrounding his often-discussed argument on the Grey's Anatomy set.
"I just think he's a great actor," says Silverman.
As for Washington's former home base, with the Grey's team having reported back to work last Monday, Wilson told People it just isn't the same.
"There's something missing," said Wilson, who plays Dr. Miranda Bailey. "There are definitely big voids there, so you're trying to figure out how do you work now with the voids ... not only personally but for the characters ... and what does that mean?'"
Pickens declined to discuss Washington but did offer some kind words for Kate Walsh, who is also gone, having left to start her own show, Private Practice.
"[Kate Walsh] was such integral part of the cast, so beautiful and funny," he said. "But I'm so happy for her with the new show. I wish her nothing but success with it."
At Monday's gathering of the cast - the first since Season 3 of Grey's ended in May - "We started with a vengeance," said Chandra Wilson. "It's like full 14-hour days already, so it didn't feel like we took a break."
"You hit the ground running," Pickens added.
Added to the cast is Chyler Leigh, who plays Lexie Grey, Meredith Grey's half-sister and a new Seattle Grace intern.
"She's really talented." Pickens said of Chyler Leigh. "We're looking forward to seeing how she integrates into the cast. I haven't had any scenes with her, but from what I've seen I think she's going to be a great addition."
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