'Grey's Anatomy': ABC testing Denny-Izzie romance

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Maybe Katherine Heigl’s recent, pre-Emmy complaint about not getting nomination-worthy material on Grey’s Anatomy wasn’t entirely off base: In a preposterous new low, her once-popular character, Izzie Stevens (pictured), is sleeping with her dead lover, Denny — as in, actual carnal relations with a spirit — and now, we’ve learned, ABC is audience-testing a love story between the two. Last we checked, creator Shonda Rhimes wasn’t trying to create a Ghost Whisperer: Seattle, but then there isn’t a lot about Grey’s that makes sense these days. Actress Brooke Smith, whose Dr. Erica Hahn represented the only lesbian character on the Big Four networks, was abruptly canned. Mary McDonnell’s depiction of a cardiac surgeon with Asperger’s has been both ridiculous and unrealistic. And interns operating on interns is almost as laughable as Cristina (Sandra Oh) saving a pitiable pig. Add in Rhimes’ decision to have Izzie cavort with the dead, and Grey’s has fast become this season’s most maligned show by fans (if you don’t count Heroes, that is).

“Denny and Izzie together again is just dizzy. Stupid, stupid, stupid,” posts an EW.com reader named Susan. “As for all of those comments from people saying, ‘It’s just TV, it doesn’t have to be real,’ well, yeah, but on the other hand, it has to be somewhat RELATABLE!” Adds EW.com reader Lizzie, “Please, TV Gods, let it be that Izzie is suffering from an incurable brain tumor.…Let her die and be reunited with hot Denny in the afterworld, never to be seen on Grey’s Anatomy again!”

That’s what we hoped for too, until Rhimes told EW last week that Izzie doesn’t have a brain tumor.

Sadly, that’s all the explanation we’re getting for now (Rhimes, Heigl, and ABC all declined to comment for this article). However, with viewership down 17 percent from last year, an insider says ABC is conducting audience testing on the Izzie-Denny love story. Results aren’t in yet, so we’re forced to sift through future plotlines for any signs of relief. The good news is that Rhimes hasn’t given up on girl-on-girl love, as bisexual Callie is about to start canoodling with new intern Sadie (Melissa George). McSteamy (Eric Dane) may end up doing the dirty with little Grey, Lexie, played by Chyler Leigh (anything’s better than watching her pine over the oblivious George), and fan favorite Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) will show up for a special crossover episode with Private Practice in February. The bad news is that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is slated to appear at least through February. There’s never an exorcist around when you need one.

More Grey’s Anatomy:

Ausiello: Grey’s discharges Dr. Hahn

PopWatch: Brooke Smith’s ouster is not okay!

Ask Ausiello: Grey’s scoop

Grey’s scores best ratings in weeks


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  • lisa

    i dont know why everyone wants to see izzie killed off. and no offense she has gotten some pretty crappy storylines last season to now denny’s ghost. i love denny but would whether see them work on alex and izzie..and what about george, he does nothing now..whats that about?!

  • john t.

    wow. just wow. ideas are just getting worse for this show. callie and sadie is a big NO. mark and lexie is a bigger NO….and gross. and more denny? EPIC FAIL. i’m down for more kate walsh though..she’s the one who started the big drama in season 1!
    grey’s anatomy failed to give george some good material…they even cut out a lot of dempsey’s face time.

  • Kevin

    The first 2 seasons of this show were really good…WHAT THE **** HAPPENED?

  • wakeforce

    Look at last week’s ratings. I think they were the highest rated since the season premiere. The truth is Grey’s has been OVERRATED since season 1. Obviously they is no accounting for taste.

  • Gretchen

    No need to do an audience test – WE HATE IT!!! END IT NOW!!! THIS SHOW IS GOING DOWN QUICK!!

  • Brie

    I used to be an avid Grey’s watcher…but I’ve only seen the season premiere this year. I recorded the next few episodes, but haven’t had any desire to give up my time to watch them, so much so I don’t even bother with recording the show anymore. I really don’t feel like I’m missing anything. And after reading this, I’m certain I’m not.

  • matt

    GA writers ruined a once great character of Denny. Wow, jump the shark would be an understatement!

  • Shari

    about the only thing that excites me in this whole article is Mark and Lexie. He and Callie are gross together.
    As for Izzie & Denny, ABC has lost their F$*IN minds if they are “testing” the audience for a LOVE STORY between a LIVING person and a GHOST! WTF!? What about ALEX!?! What is wrong with Shonda Rhimes!?!

  • raprilc

    Shonda Rhimes needs to fire herself for the wackness that has become Grey’s.

  • Scout

    I am so done with Denny. Great actor, but get back in your coffin. This storyline makes no sense, no matter how you spin it. They’re taking away valuable screen time from other great characters who have a pulse. Keep Ghost Hunters on the FX network

  • ann

    Seriously. Can we have some less nasty love stories already? Make Denny go bye-bye and get Callie a real woman – not annoying Sadie.
    Besides – isn’t it a bad idea to “test” the Izzie / Denny story on the real live audience if the real live audience is going to go away because of it?
    WTF is up Shonda?!

  • ann

    Oh yeah… almost forgot… bring on the Yang / Hunt story! I love me some Kevin McKidd.

  • mark in nyc

    I really thought dead denny thing would be over in a few episodes….after reading this article and finding out it will be going on untill Feb…I am taking the show off my dvr list.
    I will continue to read the recaps on ew to see if it is getting any better, but I think it is in a tailspin it can not recover from.
    Bye Greys.

  • Rich

    The sad thing is..Heigl has been absolutely brilliant in these scenes as well..despite the storyline. She is not getting enough credit for actually making this almost believable. I don’t think it has been badly done it is just the show is rooted in reality and people just are finding it a step too far.

  • graeme

    he’s going to be around til at least January? For the love of God…

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