Steady pulse for ''Grey's'' spinoff? |


Steady pulse for ''Grey's'' spinoff?

The alphabet network's giddy glimpses into ''Men in Trees,'' ''Kyle XY,'' and the problematic ''Grey's Anatomy'' spinoff, ''Private Practice,'' brought TV's two-week summer press tour to a close

(Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

At the last day of press tour, punch-drunk reporters combined with equally spastic ABC actors to lead to at least two unexpectedly chipper panels (thanks, Christopher Titus!). While no breaking industry news surfaced, each panel still provided some noteworthy nuggets about what’s ahead for Kyle XY, Addison Montgomery, and post-feminist gender relations (yes, really). Herewith, the greatest hits from press tour’s dying day.

Public Practice
Pointed questioning forced Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes to air her thoughts about the variety of dustups, large and small, that have continued to erupt around her blockbuster baby and its spinoff. On replacing Merrin Dungey — who already appeared as a main character in the Grey’s episode that served as Practice’s pilot — with Broadway star Audra Macdonald: ”I don’t think we can really go wrong with a four-time Tony winner.” On recent revelations that booted Grey’s star Isaiah Washington was in talks with rival net NBC before he got word that he was no longer welcome at Seattle Grace: ”I wasn’t aware of any conversation he had. But he’s a really talented actor, and I hope Bionic Woman does well — just not as well as Private Practice.” On the much-maligned George-and-Izzy coupling: ”I’m not necessarily saying George and Izzy are the love story of the century. People make mistakes and [their hookup] may or may not be one.” And, most importantly, of course, on the unnerving talking elevator in the Practice episode: ”I don’t know if it will be back.”

Kyle of the Future
ABC gave little-sister cable net ABC Family some of its prime network press tour time to tout its now two breakout hits: new college comedy Greek (No. 1 download on iTunes this week!) and Kyle XY (freshly minted TCA award winner!). And during Kyle’s session, producers offered a glimpse into the bellybutton-less one’s near future: By the end of this summer season, Kyle’s adopted family and friends will have at least an inkling of the secret behind his super abilities. And next season will focus more on ”Kyle’s realization that the ordinary can be extraordinary,” supervising producer Julie Plec said. Translation: He’ll get more into spreading good will one-on-one than being fireproof and moving glasses of water with his mind.

More Men to Love!
Timeslot-hopping wonder Men in Trees is snuggling into its cozy Friday-at-10 home this season, hopefully for good. (As my insightful colleague Whitney Pastorek just noted, it’s the best show to come home drunk to.) Even better: Because it got yanked off the schedule early last spring, we’ll get five leftover episodes in addition to the 22-episode order. We’ll also get more guys, if that’s possible — Scott Elrod, that swarthy Cash dude who invaded Merrin’s new house last season, joins as a series regular. ”There will be multiple suitors [for Merrin],” creator Jenny Bicks hinted. ”And she will be living with more than one man at one point.” But will we get more marketing muscle to grow the small-but-passionate fan base? Bicks has her own low-cost plan: ”My parents are really working to get the word out.”

Big … um, Something
The Big Shots boys — Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Joshua Malina, and Dylan McDermott — made the very last session of this long and winding TCA tour more than bearable with their generous helpings of pretty blue eyes, mussy hair, and well-tended stubble. Oh, and their genuinely quick-witted banter, which revealed, among other things, that the show — one of those post-Sex and the City cocktails-and-relationships dramedies (but with men!) — was originally titled Big Dicks, which, natch, didn’t pass muster with the net. Titus also shared, apropos of mostly nothing, that he ”lost 20 pounds in my divorce because that’s what a soul weighs.” And Malina quipped that one of the most important lessons they learned shooting the pilot is that Titus ”has a giant head. If you don’t block the scene correctly, none of us can be seen.” Should these guys get a spot on the writing staff, or is this stuff is just funnier when you’ve been locked in a conference room with television critics for 11 days?