A kewl story that never made its way into the official press tour blog: In the middle of the tour, there was a TCA field trip to the ABC Prospect studios, where both "The Shield" and "Grey's Anatomy" film. First up: a lunchtime screening of next January's "Shield" season premiere, which picks up almost immediately after the death of Lem, and was so intensely good that it had all of the people at my table grumbling about having to wait six months to see the next one. (That, and, after one particularly grisly scene, asking Cathy Cahlin Ryan if she's ever scared of the man she married.) Shawn Ryan said afterwards that one of the reasons he wanted to do one more season after this one is that he didn't want to skimp on either the Lem fallout or providing closure for all the characters, so he'll devote one season to each. Shawn's a creator I always trust; while some seasons have been better than others, "The Shield" has never really had a bad season, and after the most recent batch, I'm down with anything he wants to do.
After that, we wandered over to the "Grey's" set and attempted to interview Shonda Rhimes and the actors -- the problem being that Shonda has scared the crap out of her entire cast to the point where they won't give away anything about upcoming storylines, even in the broadest sense.
After a few quasi-useful interviews, I realized I'd left my notebook over by the "Shield" stage, and while picking it up, I bumped into Shawn again. He's a notorious procrastinator, so rather than go back into his office to write, he sat and shot the breeze with me for an hour or so, until Chick Eglee (one of his writer/producers) came looking for him. We quickly roped Chick into our bull session, and the guys started talking up Franka Potente's guest stint near the end of the new season.
"She's going to say 'scheisse' at some point, right?" I asked.
Shawn and Chick looked at each other and said, in unison, "She is now!"
So there you have it: my contribution to the creative process.