Ellen Pompeo, Shonda Rhimes, Kate Walsh

ABC

Shonda Rhimes is sharing! I caught up with the woman behind Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, and she was more than chatty about such hot topics as Meredith and Derek, Izzie and Alex, Cristina's new fella and the possibility of a real relationship for one Dr. Addison Montgomery. Click in for tons of scoop on the new season!

Grey's Anatomy

ABC/Karen Neal

Grey's Anatomy: What's in Store for Season Five

Where is the story taking us next season?
I think a lot of the focus is going to be on the five core interns we've gotten to know—who aren't interns anymore—George (T.R. Knight), Izzie (Katherine Heigl), Cristina (Sandra Oh), Alex (Justin Chambers) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo). I really want to focus on them as they deal with the next step in their training. We're also going to spend a lot of time with Mark (Eric Dane), Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Erica (Brooke Smith) and see their interactions.

Grey's Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo

ABC/Karen Neal

Grey's Anatomy Relationships: Meredith & Derek, the Original and Still the Best

On to MerDer, are you tired of talking about them?
I was until I got them together, and now it's a whole new world. There's a whole host of other problems that come with Meredith and Derek being together, and a whole host of other storylines, drama and excitement. So I'm really actually excited about them being together, because I feel like what I wanted you to leave with last season is Meredith standing in that field, having done this incredible thing, and the look on her face is a little bit like, "Oh my God, now I actually have to do this." That's important.

Is it more fun for you to write them together?
Absolutely. It was a real challenge to figure out how to get them together...how to get Meredith to the place where she was healthy enough to make this step with Derek. Now that she's made the step with Derek, it's really exciting to see what's going to come next and how she's going to deal with living with a boy, and all the things a man like Derek, who has been married and is a grown-up, might expect.

MerDer is living together? Are they living in Derek's trailer or in Meredith's house?
That you'll have to watch and see.

Is Rose going to be a thorn in MerDer's side?
I don't necessarily think t hat she's a troublemaker for their relationship in the beginning.

Sara Ramirez, Brooke Smith, Sandra Oh

ABC

Grey's Anatomy Relationships: Callie & Erica, the Newest Romance

Callie and Erica are going to be a couple next season, are they going to come out to the masses?
Eventually that's going to play out. I feel like the important thing is that at the end of the season, Callie kissed a girl. We're going to watch that part of it play out: Did she mean to kiss a girl? What does it mean that she's kissed a girl? Is she excited about it? What does it mean for Erica? We don't really know Erica's side of the story yet in terms of what's going on with the two of them. Then we're going to watch the larger world of what happens when the two of them come out of the hospital, and what happens when Callie's dad (Hector Elizondo) finds out. I think it's going to be really interesting because I think it's very different to go from being 19 and declare this, and be a grown woman and declare this, when your family's already thought something else.

Will this season be a journey for them to discover their sexuality?
They are definitely on a journey, and it's going to be a really interesting one. It's funny, the writers are really excited about it, and we spend a lot of hours talking about how we're going to do it, and what we're going to do, and what might the problems be, and the emotional aspects of it, and the fun that we can have with it.

It seems like they have great onscreen chemistry. Was that a driving force in getting them together?
There is chemistry there, but also both actresses are so game; they're so willing to do something. Sara is such a fabulously comedic actress and has so much to give, and post-George I felt like she was searching for something. Callie and Erica together seem to have a lot of chemistry and dynamic. We really did start them out as being friends and it felt like there was something more there with them; the same kind of chemistry that I saw between Cristina and Burke (Isaiah Washington) before Christina and Burke got together.

Justin Chambers, Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy

ABC/SCOTT GARFIELD

Grey's Anatomy Relationships: Alex & Izzie, Heating Up?

We last saw Alex and Izzie getting hot and steamy, in a depressing sort of way. What's next for them?
I think you're going to see a lot of really interesting sparks between the two of them.

Is there any truth to that rumor about Izzie having a brain tumor this season?
No.

Kevin McKidd, Sandra Oh

AP Photo, ZumaPress.com

Grey's Anatomy: Meet the New Kidd

Kevin McKidd has a built-in McName. What's he going to be doing on the show?
He's going to be playing Owen Hunt, who is a military doctor that comes to the hospital on leave.

He just happens to show up to a hospital where everyone falls for each other? Hmmm...Who is he going for?
I think Cristina might find him fairly interesting.

Kate Walsh, David Sutcliffe

ABC

Private Practice: Add Hot SWAT Guy, STAT

How about Private Practice; what's in store for Addison this year?
We're going to see a lot more of her love life. I don't think we've ever seen Addison in a relationship; we've seen Addison trying to get her husband back, but I don't think we've ever seen Addison in a relationship.

Is this the SWAT guy?
Yes, David Sutcliffe, who is very SWAT-y and cute. SWAT guys are sexier, so that's why he's a SWAT guy now.

What about Pete?
She's going to have some choices to make because Pete is still in the background for her, and there might be some other guys in there for her. I think it might be nice to see a single, grown woman dating and trying to figure out what that means.

—Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams

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