The Los Angeles Times is weighing in on the rumors of two Grey's Anatomy cast members leaving the show, and whether said rumors should be believed - and moreover, if all of the suspense surrounding the pair's drama is necessarily a bad thing.
Whatever plot twists the Grey's Anatomy writers are planning, they can't possibly be as dramatic - or at least as suspenseful, in the literal sense of something suspended that never actually falls - as the rumored exits of cast members Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight.
Lingering for months already, this particular bit of off-screen gossip was heightened yesterday by a new report that quotes fellow cast member James Pickens, Jr., as declaring that Heigl and Knight are as good as gone from the ABC medical drama.
Katherine Heigl is a sometime movie star (some of her Knocked Up quotes were pretty funny) with a well-documented fondness for saying seemingly unguarded and possibly career-jeopardizing things, like dissing the series with a grandiose gesture.
That being removing herself from Emmy consideration last year and saying "the material I was given" failed to warrant consideration. This after winning the previous year.
T.R. Knight, who was at the center of an ugly gay-baiting incident involving former co-star Isaiah Washington, is reportedly unhappy with what he feels is limited screen time.
A couple points, however, are getting lost in the scuffle to squeeze some sort of definitive news from Pickens' comments, according to the L.A. Times ...First, how does Pickens know for sure that either one of his costars is leaving?
Actors are not always the most reliable sources of dish on upcoming scripts, let alone information about what's happening off the set.
For the record, Grey's Anatomy, network and studio sources have declined comment on the Heigl-Knight issue, as have PR reps for the two actors themselves.
That leads the second point: Why should anyone comment and ruin all this great suspense? Now in its fifth season, Grey's Anatomy needs all the help it can get.
Back in the day - the 2006-2007 season, to be precise, when it averaged a record 19.9 viewers - it was ABC's top-rated scripted show and bona fide sensation.
That all seems like a very, very long time ago.
Some fans have complained about this season's story lines - particularly the remergence of "Dead Denny," a deceased former love interest of Heigl's character surgical resident Izzie Stevens - and the show is slogging through its worst-ever ratings, averaging 15.1 million.
A current arc of interlocking episodes with the Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice seems to be boosting the latter show without doing much to help the former.
So by keeping the Katherine Heigl-T.R. Knight drama alive, was James Pickens, Jr., just been doing what he could to help out the home team. Or speaking candidly?