Lost

ABC

Time now for the show runners panel at ABC's portion of the Press Tour and the six big bosses—Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy), Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters, Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money), Silvio Horta (Ugly Betty), Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Carlton Cuse (Lost)—have taken the stage to give some dish. (Pinch me.)

Here are the highs (and lows):

Shonda Rhimes

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Shonda Rhimes, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice

Shonda Rhimes tried to convey the message that she's on good professional terms with Katherine Heigl, but reporters in the room continued to pry about Heigl's decision not to compete for an Emmy nom. Shonda explained that Izzie's storyline the first half of last season was meant to be comedic, and her storyline the second half of the season was lightly written at Katherine's request (so that she could shoot a movie). "I feel like what happened [is that] there’s only one side of the story in the media," said Shonda, "and sometimes that’s not everything that’s going on and what’s underneath."

• When asked about the future of a possible relationship between Callie O'Malley (Sara Ramirez) and Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith), Shonda said, "We have a really interesting, wonderful, funny way of laying out the story of Callie and Erica that I’m pretty excited about. I feel like it’s not necessarily your typical way of dealing with the storyline. What I love is that we sat down with GLAAD and talked about women who figure out that they’re lesbians later in life and what that means, [we] were able to find some really great, humorous and serious emotional stuff to play that’s going to feel really interesting and also affect their lives in the hospital."

Damon Lindelof

Jerome Ware/ZUMAPress.com

Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse, Lost

• Over on Lost (which, did I mention, got an Emmy nod today? wheee!), when asked about how they would manage the split casts next season (with some on the Island and some off), Damon Lindelof said, "We have that [issue] intensely in mind." He said that they find that separating characters geographically and emotionally is a valuable storyline tool for them, but they're aware that they can only do that for so long before audiences get impatient.

Damon and Carlton also were asked about diversity issues, with an implied reference to Harold Perrineau's speculation about how race might have played a role Michael's death, and Damon said, "The show has to be an equal-opportunity murderer...We've killed a lot of white people. And I can almost guarantee we will be killing more white people this season."

• When pressed on their plan for season five of Lost, Damon said, "This is a tricky year for us. This is like The Two Towers [portion of The Lord of the Rings saga]...it links us to the final season...We've known a lot of what we want to do there [in the final season] for a long time, but the challenge is how do we make this season engaging and exciting. The worst thing we could ever do on the show is for the show to be boring...If we're going to be bad, we're going to be spectacularly bad."

Marc Cherry

John Heller/WireImage.com

Marc Cherry, Desperate Housewives

Marc Cherry admitted that Lost's leap forward in time was at least a partial inspiration for Desperate Housewives' move into the future; Carlton joked that there will also be a polar bear on Wisteria Lane, and Cherry told us that they decided five years was the perfect span of time to leap forward because it allowed them have an impact on the storylines without having to age (and therefore possibly upset) his actresses. Also, when talking to castmembers, Marc said he has this general policy, "The best way to deal with actors is to pretend they are real people." Hee.

• During the strike, when they were strategizing, Marc Cherry thought all the writers used too many sports metaphors, and he tried to persuade them to use musical-theater metaphors instead. In Marc's world, see, it's not about baseball, it's about Eliza Doolittle and Gypsy. As such, he was hilarious throughout the panel, translating (brilliantly, I might add) from sports to show tunes. "It's like when Mama Rose..." That Cherry, he brings the funny.

Greg Berlanti

Kevin Parry/WireImage.com

Greg Berlanti, Eli Stone, Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money

• When Greg Berlanti was asked about the introduction of a second illegitimate Walker (Ryan) and the Rebecca-Justin miniscandal, he said he hoped that the fans remember that they're still the same writers who came up with all the storylines the fans universally like, so maybe they'll get at least a little charity or leeway from the audience when it comes to the more controversial stories.

Silvio Horta

Jerome Ware/ZUMApress.com

Silvio Horta, Ugly Betty

Silvio Horta said about Ugly Betty season three: "This season is going to be about growing up. We aren't going to be doing anymore child-like storylines. It's going to be about moving Betty forward."

He also muttered to Shonda during talk of Heigl-gate: "Just put her in a coma." Hee.

Liking or disliking any of what you hear? You know where to post! Now pardon me while I take off my reporter badge and hide from Shonda...

—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin and Natalie Abrams

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