The Players: Greg Berlanti, Marc Cherry, Team Darlton, Silvio Horta and Shonda Rhimes
2:00 pm: Is Grey's going to punish Katherine Heigl by giving Izzie a brain tumor, a lethal hemorrhoid or both? We're about to find out because Shonda Rhimes is in the house!
2:03 pm: While we're waiting for the show to start, here are some other Izzie death scenarios, courtesy of EW's Alynda Wheat: "Crushed by a falling sign at the Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic? Stomped by Ava, Calleigh, cancer daughter, Denny’s parents, and everyone else she’s disappointed? Freak baking accident?" Any other ideas out there? The comments section is now accepting your submissions!
2:06 pm: You know it's an important panel when... ABC president Steve McPherson does the introductions.
2:08 pm: Damon Lindelof has bad news for the crowd: There will be no Lost spoilers handed out today.
2:10 pm: The Heigl question gets put to Rhimes! "I didn't see this one coming," jokes Lindelof. Rhimes keeps her remarks short. "We have a really great story worked out [for Izzie]," she says, adding that "things are going fine" behind-the-scenes in the wake of Heiglgate. Cracks Horta: "I would put her in a coma." Funny, but c'mon, she's not getting off the hook that easy. Someone ask a follow-up for chrissakes!
2:11 pm: No follow-up!
2:12 pm: Cherry blames loose-lipped Marcia Cross for leaking the five-year flash-forward secret to the press. Tee-hee.
2:21 pm: The follow-up gets asked! "I found it surprising," Rhimes says of the sucker-punch Heigl leveled at her. "I actually have a really wonderful working relationship with Katie, so I found it surprising. But [she] is a very outspoken actress."
2:24 pm: How does Rhimes deal with behind-the-scenes turmoil: "I have a finely-honed style from Season 3," she laughs. "These people are my family... I know them in a way that a lot of people can't possibly. For me, it's about to looking at them as real people."
2:25 pm: Cherry announces that Heigl "was drunk" when she made those comments. He's here all week, people!
2:26 pm: No spoilers my arse! Cuse hints that "the journey about how those six return to the island" will be a major thrust of Season 5. Adds Lindelof: "You have to break your characters up to create conflict... but you can't play that too long because the audience will get frustrated.... And we have that intensely in mind as we proceed."
2:31 pm: Responding to McPherson's slam comments yesterday about Private Practice cutting down on the soap, Rhimes says this season will focus more on medical stories that have "moral and ethical dilemmas... Those are the [stories that have] real heart, so we're going to explore more of that. I don't think we're talking about less soap, per se, but we're talking about making the medical cases stronger so the soap is supported."
2:34 pm: Contrary to reports, Cherry insists that Eva Longoria was not upset about the de-glamming of Gabrielle in the season finale. Besides, he says, "We'll get her back to looking glamorous somewhere in the middle of the season."
2:35 pm: Just when she thinks she's out, they pull her back in! Another Heigl question leads Rhimes to insist that she "didn't feel insulted" by Heigl's comments.
2:37 pm: Cuse teases we'll see more of Daniel Dae Kim "in some form" this season despite Jin's apparent death.
2:39 pm: Horta didn't see a future for Henry and Betty. "It just made sense to part ways (with Chris Gorham). It felt like it was time to move on."
2:42 pm: Regarding the backlash against Justin and Rebecca on Brothers & Sisters, Berlanti admits that "none of us expected that there would be a contingent of the audience that was as vocal as they were about no liking that storyline." Um, that sounds ominous.
2:43 pm: Session ends! Gaggle stampede! I've got my tape recorder. Be back with scoop!
2:46 pm: Shonda snuck out the back door! She's getting away! Noooooooooooo!