ABC Entertainment President Speaks on Grey's Anatomy

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On last week's press tour, ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson spoke out candidly about Grey's Anatomy's controversial ghost-love story involving Izzie and Denny.

"[Denny Duquette] is not a ghost, which you will learn," McPherson says.

"I actually think when you get to the end of the season and you see everything she had in mind, it might not be your cup of tea, but I think you'll be surprised at how insightful and smart that story line itself is in terms of the dynamics it's creating for the characters involved and where we end up with those characters at the end."

Izzie Stevens, Denny Duquette

Not exactly enthusiastic praise, is it? The boss continued:

"The viewers will be the judge. That's the good and the bad about this business. I think shows ebb and flow. And when you talk about long-term serialized dramas like Grey's Anatomy, you're going to have some stuff that people don't respond to."

McPherson said he is satisfied with the creative direction of Private Practice, and has high hopes for the show's upcoming crossover arc with Grey's Anatomy.

That's not all the ABC chief discussed. Follow the jump for a controversial exchange regarding the departure of some of Grey's Anatomy characters. The exchange apparently took place in a hallway after the panel met, and was reported by ...

Steve McPherson: Melissa George was a guest for one episode.
Reporter #1: many guests just leaving - no, she was in more than one episode.
Steve McPherson: I'm not going to answer the question, that's an absurd question. The only person who has left the show is Isaiah Washington.
Reporter #2: Brooke Smith.
Reporter #3: Melissa had contracted for 8 to 11 episodes, and she hasn't gotten 8-11 episodes.
Steve McPherson: She didn't contract for that many episodes, she was a guest -
Reporter #3: That's what she said.
Steve McPherson: Well, we all know what everybody says when they leave the show, they want to say what works best for them."
Reporter #3: She was in more than one episode.
Steve McPherson: Yeah, I think she was in three. She was mentioned in one and then shown in two other episodes, I think.
Reporter #4: Brooke Smith was in the opening credits at the start of the season. Was that just, you didn't like the character -
Steve McPherson: Yeah, the character was not working for us. The dynamic with the relationship was not working for us. We felt like Sara Ramirez is such a dynamic character, an amazing actress and woman, and we really just weren't seeing the excitement out of that relationship. There was some mention that we were upset by the lesbian nature of it. She's going to be in a dedicated lesbian relationship (chuckling) in the show. So again, that was an actress who was trying to talk about something in a manner that would serve her and not the reality.
Intern Sadie
Erica Hahn Photo

So, to sum up, McPherson calls the reporter's question about why there are so many actors leaving "absurd," then throws Melissa George under the bus, then throws Brooke Smith under the bus, then laughs away the idea that anyone could accuse Grey's Anatomy of having a problem with lesbian relationships. At least it's subject to that interpretation.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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 don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

Arizona: Oh my God! I mean, I understand why you're into her. She's hot. Wait, she likes you?
Nathan: What? I mean, I'm going to try not to be offended at that.
Arizona: No, no, no. It's just that Derek was, Derek was epic for her. They were the great love story. I mean, that girl's heart beat for Derek Shepherd. It just, it never occurred to me that she would ever be with anyone else. He was perfect. He was everything. That man turned her world. It, I spooked you. Don't be spooked.