While Private Practice executive producer Shonda Rhimes says that the show's medical stories will include more surgery and medical / ethical dilemmas this season, she insists there is no "conscious tweaking" going on.
"My characters end up doing what I'm doing at the time," she told TV Guide. "Addison was finding her footing [last season] because I was finding my footing with the show. Addison is stronger now."
Kate Walsh (Dr. Addison Montgomery): "You actually start to see Addison have a personal life. Addison has never been happy: Derek was always like, 'Get away,' Sloan was just after one thing, and Karev was just this curmudgeon. Now there's some fun and romance for her."
Taye Diggs (Dr. Sam Bennett): "It seems as if we're going in a direction where you see the inner workings of Sam, which are not like his outside, where he seems calm, cool and collected. It's been really fun to play."
Chris Lowell (William "Dell" Parker): "Dell is not the kid," says Rhimes. "I want to find a way to make his midwifery stories interesting and compelling."
Audra McDonald (Dr. Naomi Bennett): "The Sam-Naomi-Dell triangle fallout gets fairly interesting, complex, charming and funny," says Rhimes.
Paul Adelstein (Dr. Cooper Freedman): "I think it's ironic that Violet has been pushing Cooper to get serious about a woman, and when he does, she feels abandoned. He is starting to realize the deficiencies that he has. Where we start this season is that he takes a step toward Charlotte, and that pays dividends, but it also has bad effects with his friends."
KaDee Strickland (Dr. Charlotte King): "Playing opposite this guy [points to Adelstein] this season is just a dream come true."
Amy Brenneman (Dr. Violet Turner): "In her mind, she has lost Cooper, and she is still recovering from her relationship ending, so she is dealing with that."
Tim Daly (Dr. Pete Wilder): "TV romances are like really good sex; you do everything you can before you finally consummate it," Daly said about the continuing will-they-or-won't-they tension between Addison and Pete.