Jim's Notebook: Grey's Anatomy, Justified and More!

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As I empty out this week’s Notebook, I’ve got two actresses who are doing pulling double duty on two different shows, along with intel from Sam Palladio (Gunnar on Nashville) on just how much of a country fan he’s become by playing Gunnar on Nashville.

Let's dig in, shall we?

Jim's Notebook

Justified & The Following: Besides her role on Fox’s hit series - where she plays Claire - Natalie Zea also returned to the FX series for the final two episodes of Justified Season 4. How was it stepping back into Winona’s shoes?

“It’s always nice to have a change,” she told me. “It’s always interesting for me to see how fickle I am, because put me on a show where I don’t get to wear pants and all I want to do is wear pants.”

Because Claire has spent a big chunk of the first season hiding from her ex, Joe Carroll, she hasn’t had a lot of time to worry about wardrobe: “Put me on a show where I’m wearing the same outfit literally for five, six episodes in a row and all I want to do is put a dress on. It was nice to be able to embody her. It’s not that Claire is not feminine. She’s very feminine but she’s in such dire straits throughout the whole season that she doesn’t really get to pay attention to that part of her.”

Winona, she added, “is always very lady like. She seems to have this elegance about her and that was nice to kind of step back into.” [Watch for Zea to get dressed up on tonights The Following when she is face to face with Joe in an attempt to get her kidnapped son back.]

Grey’s Anatomy & How To Live With Your Parents: Sarah Chalke is headlining the new ABC sitcom (premiering April 3rd) where she plays a single mother who moves back in with her less-than-traditional parents (Brad Garrett and Elizabeth Perkins) but she couldn’t say no to stepping over into a dramatic role on the long-running medical drama that aired last week.

“It was based on my son, who had Kawasaki Disease (aka KD) two years ago,” she told me. “I called the creators of Grey's and told Shonda the story of what had happened to us and they said ‘We want to do a story about Kawasaki.”

In the episode, Chalke portrayed the mother of a young boy who has been falsely diagnosed, which mirrored what the actress went through with her own son: “There is no diagnostic test, it’s a clinical diagnosis…so by doing an episode on a medical show where people can see the symptoms and see what it looks like the hope is that it will trigger for somebody and it will save their kid.” 

And just because Chalke had lived through this in real life doesn’t mean it was easy to shoot the Greys episode. “It was really hard, it was really scary to approach,” she said. “Obviously it was the hardest experience of my life going through it the first time.” Chalke did say at the end of the day that it was therapeutic for her to go through it again since she knew she’d be informing other parents. (For more on KD, visit http://kdfoundation.org)

Sarah Chalke on Grey's Anatomy

Nashville As I found out during my recent chat with Palladio, Gunnar is going to be going through some depression due to his brother’s death. But one thing that is not depressing for the British actor is his newfound love for country music.

“I came here not knowing a huge amount about country music,” he told me. “My background was kind of a rock background and then progressed when I got in my 20s. It got influenced by folk and ’70s kind of James Taylor and Neil Young and that sort of thing.”

Spending so much in Nashville as he has this past year, the country vibe has clearly rubbed off on him. “The country music community here seemed to really have accepted us as a cast and as singers and players into their world. So, it seemed crazy to me that I’ve been hanging out with Vince Gill and Jason Aldean and befriending Hunter Hayes and these great artists that I’m now listening to on the radio all the time and appreciating how the music works over here.”

That’s a wrap for this week! Anything else you’re dying to know about your favorite show? Leave a comment here or you email me directly at jim@jimhalterman.com. And remember: follow @TVFanatic for all your TV scoop!

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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.

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)