Grey’s Anatomy

Name change for Cougar Town?

The creator of Cougar Town would like to change the name of the series as he believes it has moved on too far from its initial premise. Bill Lawrence cited the fact that many people have been put off by the title despite enjoying the content of the show, which has just premiered here on TV2.

Entourage producer’s new show

The producers behind Entourage are planning a new show which would centre on a group of women. Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson are currently developing the concept alongside writers Leah Rachel and Emily Montague which will focus on a group of young women “working and finding romance in LA.”

Cowell lines up X Factor judges

Simon Cowell is reportedly lining up pop star/actress Jennifer Lopez and husband Marc Anthony to take the judging roles on his new show The X Factor. The format is already successful in the UK and Cowell is bringing it to the US in order to cash in on the success of American Idol. Mariah Carey is also on Cowell’s list of potential judges.

Power Rangers return

The Power Rangers are set to make a return to television with original producer Haim Saban acquiring the franchise from the Walt Disney Company. The new 20-episode run of the show will now screen on the rival Nickelodeon channel in 2011 as well as re-runs of previous seasons. Disney had tried to distance itself from the series due to complaints over the violent content of the show.

Gandolfini returning to TV

Ex-Sopranos star James Gandolfini is returning to screen in a new HBO TV movie. The Emmy winner will join Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) and Diane Lane on the project which is called Cinema Verite and looks at the making of the 1973 series An American Family. Gandolfini will play the producer of the series.

The end of Heroes?

US network NBC has reportedly decided to cancel Heroes. The network has not confirmed the announcement as yet but insiders are claiming the series has been cut. There was talk recently that a final 130episode run of the show might be produced in order to wrap up the story but this doesn’t look to be the case.

Grey’s/Private Practice crossover planned

Dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice may cross over again with a character from Grey’s appearing on the spin-off series. Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) sister Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) is a possibility to appear on Private Practice in an extended role and executive producer Shonda Rhimes has said there is also talk that Derek, Amelia and their mum will appear on one show.

 

FlashForward close to cancellation

Drama series FlashForward is reportedly close to cancellation in the US due to poor ratings. Despite performing well overseas, the American series is not hitting the mark stateside and ABC is said to be thinking of axing it. Fans will know next week as to the future of the show.

New series to be shot in NZ

A prequel to swords and sandals series Spartacus: Blood and Sand is set to start production in New Zealand this winter. The six-part series will star Lucy Lawless and John Hannah and focus on the rise of the House of Batiatus and its champions before Spartacus. Meanwhile, the second season of Spartacus has been delayed due to star Andy Whitfield’s cancer diagnosis.

Burn Notice gains Reynolds

Burt Reynolds has signed on to appear in Burn Notice next season. The 74-year-old will take on the role of a former CIA operative who has since retired alongside series regular Michael Western (Jeffrey Donovan). The upcoming season of Burn Notice hits American screens this June.

NZNTM wants more Maori models

Producers of the second cycle of New Zealand’s Next Top Model are urging more Maori women to apply for the show. With auditions being held next month around the country, producer have said they would love to see more Maori models auditioning as they believe they would have better opportunities overseas due to their “special New Zealand look”.

Cast additions to True Blood

Several new faces will appear on the next season of vampire series True Blood with Lara Pulver and Michael Steger confirmed as series regulars. British actress Pulver will play Sookies’s fairy godmother Claudine while 90210’s Steger will feature as a gay prostitute named Tony. The pair join Alfie Woodard and Ugly Betty’s Grant Bowler as newbies for the next season.

US remake Skins

MTV has ordered a US remake of hit UK teen series Skins. As with the UK original, the remake will utilise unknown talent and young writers on the staff in order to keep the show as close to the original as possible. There will be, however, an overhaul of character names.

New additions to Jersey Shore

The next season of MTV reality series Jersey Shore will feature several new characters. It has been reported that the new faces will make their appearance halfway through the season. The original cast will still headline the show which is currently filming scenes down in Miami before returning to their usual beach haunt of Seaside Heights in New Jersey.

The Office star on new series

The Office star Mackenzie Crook, who played office weirdo Gareth alongside Ricky Gervais’s David Brent, has signed on for a new BBC crime drama. The six-part series entitled Accused will feature Crook and fellow Brit Christopher Eccleston along with four other headlining actors. Each episode of the series will focus on how one of the men came to be in court.

Astronaut to host WWE

Ex-American astronaut Buzz Aldrin will guest host an episode of WWE Raw in Canada. Aldrin, who headed to the moon alongside Neil Armstrong, has been all over TV recently after featuring in the American version of Dancing With The Stars. When he hosts the two-hour wrestling special he will appear under his official WWE name ‘Rocket Hero’.

Grey’s actress in new role

Grey’s Anatomy actress Sandra Oh has signed on to a new British crime drama. Oh, who plays Cristina Yang on the medical series, will take a lead role in Thorne: Scaredy Cat, an adaptation of a Mark Billingham novel which focuses on the Metropolitan Police as they investigate a number of murders in London.

 

8:30pm Tuesday, April 27 on TV2

Katherine Heigl checks out of Grey’s Anatomy tonight, in the star’s final appearance on the show that made her a household name.

Over the course of the show’s six seasons, Izzie Stephens (Heigl) has had a rough ride: falling in love and becoming engaged to a patient, Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who later died in her arms; being diagnosed with incurable cancer; marrying on-again-off-again love interest Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) in the midst of her cancer treatment, before then dying on the operating table herself; being revived, and cured – but then fired from her job after the hospital merger.

Now, Izzie is back in Seattle, and wants to reconcile with Alex, who she left after feeling he was partly responsible for the loss of her job. How will he react to her reappearance now?

One thing is certain – whatever happens between Alex and Izzie, she won’t be returning to Seattle Grace’s operating rooms after tonight.

“I am done,” Heigl tells Entertainment Weekly. “We just finalised our agreement. Everyone had been working really hard to find an amicable and gracious way of letting go and moving on. It’s sad but it’s what I wanted.”

Heigl’s absence this season has been due to her film commitments, as well as a three-month maternity leave which she took to bond with her newly-adopted daughter, Naleigh.

It’s the latter which Heigl insists is the reason for her departure from the hit medical drama.

“I started a family and it changed everything for me,” says Heigl. “It changed my desire to work full-time.”

“I know I’m disappointing the fans,” she continues. “I just had to make a choice. I hope I made the right one.”

Elsewhere in tonight’s show, Derek (Patrick Dempsey) confronts Richard (James Pickens Jr) after learning about his drinking problem, and tensions run high between Teddy (Kim Raver), Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) in the aftermath of Cristina’s startling confession.

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Grey’s Anatomy will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

Tuesday 20 April, 8.30 – 10.30pm on TV2

A desperate Mark (Eric Dane) seeks out Addison’s (Kate Walsh) help for his pregnant daughter who risks losing her baby, in thrilling crossover episodes on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice tonight.

Mark flies Addison to Seattle Grace to attend to his pregnant daughter, Sloan (Leven Rambin, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), who’s unborn baby faces life-threatening danger. However it is a complicated procedure, which leads to a decision for Mark and Sloan to return to Oceanside Wellness with Addison.

Elsewhere in Seattle Grace, Owen questions Teddy’s (Kim Raver, Lipstick Jungle) motives when she assigns Cristina (Sandra Oh) the lead on a complicated surgery, and Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) suspicions are raised when the Chief (James Pickens Jr) recruits Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) to assist with a high profile operation.

In Private Practice, while Addison goes into surgery on Sloan again, Dell (Chris Lowell) and Naomi (Audra McDonald) struggle to raise their children under the same roof, and Violet (Amy Brenneman) and Cooper (Paul Adelstein) heatedly disagree on how to treat a patient.

8:30pm Tuesday, March 30 on TV2

Cristina (Sandra Oh) is desperate for a new ‘cardio God’, but Teddy Altman (Kim Raver, 24) is not quite what she had in mind, in tonight’s Grey’s Anatomy.

As Cristina has been pining for a new cardiothoracic mentor, Owen (Kevin McKidd) surprises her by recruiting his fellow Iraqi war veteran and old friend, Teddy. However, Cristina begins to question Teddy’s abilities in the operating room when it becomes apparent that her techniques are not quite as up-to-date as they could be – plus, there’s lingering uncertainty about the nature of Owen and Teddy’s past relationship.

Raver admits that she was a huge fan of the medical drama before winning the part as Teddy – and she has a soft spot for one couple in particular.

“I love Cristina and Owen together,” she tells TV Guide USA. “They’re so unbelievably cute. They have such great chemistry. And I really want Cristina to find happiness.”

The actress was therefore slightly reticent about the role, as Teddy looks set to stir things up between the pair.

“I was concerned how this was going to work, but the writers do a great job of introducing my character in a very clever way,” she says. “I have to shut down the fan part of me and come to this with new eyes.”

The actress, who previously starred in Lipstick Jungle and Third Watch says she feels “lucky to be the new kid on the block, coming onto a highly successful show”.

Raver is also keen to point out that her character is a warmer person than the last two cardiothoracic surgeons on the show, Burke (Isiah Washington) and Hahn (Brooke Smith).

“She does her job – but she’s not mean spirited,” she says.

Elsewhere tonight, Izzie (Katherine Heigl) returns to Seattle Grace with her high school mentor (played by Oscar winning actor, Joel Grey, Cabaret) seeking treatment for his dementia, and the stress of Richard’s (James Pickens Jr) responsibilities, post-merger, begin to take their toll.

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Grey’s Anatomy will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

Last week saw growth week on week and year on year for TV ONE and TV2, as highlighted in the top “week in review” stories on TVNZ’s business marketing site tvnzplanit.co.nz.

TV ONE’s Dog Squad grew audiences week on week and year on year for all people aged 25-54 (AP25-54), up almost four ratings points on the slot’s previous four weeks, and up over two ratings points against TV3 in the same timeslot.

The Zoo and Sunday also outperformed the previous four weeks, up week on week for AP25-54, and significantly beating TV3 for Sunday night.

On TV2 the big shows kept pulling in the big audiences. Grey’s Anatomy scored 19.6 target audience ratings points (TARPs) against household shoppers with kids 0-14 (HHS w/kids 0-14), up almost 2 ratings points on the previous four weeks, and almost double the ratings of TV3’s House.

Sister show Private Practice also had a stellar week, with week on week and year on year growth in all three key demos: AP18-39, HHS w/kids 0-14 and TV3’s target demo AP18-49.

The Big Bang Theory had a double-whammy, growing audiences week on week and year on year across both its Wednesday night and Friday night timeslots in all key demographics.

 

8:30pm Tuesday, March 16 on TV2

Emmy-nominated Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey) directs tonight’s gripping episode of Grey’s Anatomy, which sees Derek attempt the most difficult surgery of his career.

When Isaac (Faran Tahir, Iron Man), the popular hospital lab technician, finds he has an inoperable tumour wrapped around his spine, he turns to Dr Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) to do the impossible and save his life. But as well as attempting the career-defining operation, Derek must also test the Chief’s authority when Richard (James Pickens Jr) objects to the risky ten-hour procedure.

Chandra Wilson first began talks about directing an episode with the show’s executive producers two years ago, and it’s taken until now to find a suitable window of opportunity.

Wilson admits the experience was nerve-wracking, describing herself as “a mess”, but adds that it was also “absolutely fabulous”.

“It was just great on all levels,” Wilson says, “I’m so glad to have been able to exercise that part of being creative.”

In true Bailey style, the actress was determined to run her episode with military precision.

“I just kept thinking my theme was efficiency. There has to be an efficient way. We all know what we’re doing now, so we don’t have to belabour things.”

“Not only for the cast, but for our crew as well, so they can tuck their kids into bed for a change, we don’t always have to be here until midnight.”

Her fellow actors were also supportive of her debut in the director’s chair. Eric Dane, who plays womaniser Mark Sloan on the medical drama, thinks that Wilson was “more prepared than any director we’ve had”.

“She has a perspective on us that a lot of directors don’t have the luxury of having, because they come in maybe once or twice a season,” Dane says. “And it was very easy to take direction from her because we all trust her and she knows more about this show than any of us do.”

Elsewhere on tonight’s episode, Alex (Justin Chambers) finds a shoulder to cry on in Reed (Nora Zehetner, America Pie 2), and Cristina (Sandra Oh) utilises an unusual technique in her attempt to become a more hard-core surgeon.

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Grey’s Anatomy will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

8:30pm Tuesday, March 9 on TV2

A mystery death haunts Seattle Grace hospital after a hotel fire creates carnage, on Grey’s Anatomy this week, with multiple perspectives explored in one of most unusual and action-packed episodes of the series.

After a burn victim unexpectedly dies in the midst of the chaotic ER, the Chief (Richard Webber) and board member Jennings (Mitch Pileggi, The X Files: I Want To Believe) interrogate the residents to find the culprit. As all the Mercy West and Seattle Grace residents defend their actions in an effort to save their jobs, the events leading up to the tragedy are seen from several different perspectives.

Featuring a series of flashbacks aimed at solving the mystery of whose was responsible for the woman’s death, it turns out each doctor at the hospital, at some point, worked on the patient.

8:30pm Tuesday, February 9 on TV2

The doctors of Seattle Grace return in a heart-rending two-hour special, in the new season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy.

George (T. R. Knight) and Izzie (Katherine Heigl) were both an inch away from death, in the dramatic last season finale, and now the entire hospital wait with baited breath to see who will survive.

Meanwhile, the Chief (James Pickens Jr) must deal with a shocking blow to his career, Derek (Patrick Dempsey) receives an unexpected job offer, Lexie (Chyler Leigh) is asked to befriend a young female patient with serious injuries and no support system at her side, and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) will try to do her job while virtually everyone around her is reeling from the events at the hospital.

Struggling with keeping his hospital afloat in the last season, Chief will be doing his utmost this season to make amends, as James Pickens Jr explains.

“When we left off last season, the hospital was struggling. It had lost its good rating, and the Chief spent a good part of the season trying to woo new doctors, getting fancy new machines, and accepting headline-grabbing surgeries. Seattle Grace hospital is his baby, and we know he’ll do whatever to get its rating back up. Some of his methods will be conventional and some not so conventional. We will see that continue to play out over the course of this season.”

But not all is grim at the hospital, as not only Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek’s relationship flourishes, but also Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona nurture a blossoming relationship.

Jessica Capshaw knows it won’t be easy for the characters, but tells TV Guide USA the events at the hospital will only make them stronger. “The situation will shed more light on the stability of this new relationship. Arizona is there for Callie.”

Elsewhere tough-loving Dr Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) faces the possibility of losing her husband over her extreme dedication to her career; Mark (Eric Dane) and Lexie try to make their relationship work; Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) is fighting her relationship fears, and her on-again-off-again boyfriend Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) fights the emotional scars that he brought home from Iraq.

If you have missed an episode, full episodes of Grey’s Anatomy will be available free online 12 hours after the show has aired on TV2. Go to tvnz.co.nz and click the ‘ondemand’ button.

VIBE – Thursday 24 December, 8.30pm

In a special Christmas episode entitled ‘Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer’, ’tis the season for giving when a young boy needs the gift of a new heart, while Alex (Justin Chambers) needs the gift of help and compassion from his friends as he prepares to re-take his exam. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) has to remind Izzie (Katherine Heigl) of the true spirit of the Christmas holiday; and despite the reconciliation with his wife, McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) isn’t in a festive mood.