Keck's Exclusives: Private Practice The Musical?

TV Guide
Kate Walsh | Photo Credits: Karen Neal/ABC
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Kate Walsh | Photo Credits: Karen Neal/ABC

While Grey's Anatomy's 2011 musical episode was met with mixed reactions by both critics and the show's stars, I loved it. That's why I'm excited that a year and a half after telling me she'd like to try the same concept on Private Practice, exec producer Shonda Rhimes finally seems ready to pull the trigger.

With Kate Walsh exiting after 13 episodes, "the writers and I have approached this season as a no-holds-barred, all-bets-off season," Rhimes says. "Every episode will be special. Some of it's going to be hilarious and some of it's going to be heartbreaking." Asked if some episodes might feature a fantasy element, Rhimes turns cagey: "Hmmm...that's interesting. Possibly."

Rhimes offers another official "no comment" when asked about the musical episode, but she admits she'd love to lure back Broadway star Audra McDonald (Naomi) one more time before the series ends. And as luck should have it, McDonald concludes her Tony-winning run in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" in late September. "The musical talent on Private Practice is equally stunning [as Grey's]," says Rhimes.

Besides McDonald, the cast features former "Rent" star Taye Diggs, Paul Adelstein (who just released an album) and Amy Brenneman, who, Rhimes says, "shakes a good tambourine." Plus, "Kate Walsh can sing a little bit — but she doesn't want to — and I'm very curious to see what's going on with Benjamin Bratt's talents."

Rhimes adds that the season will also feature "a death, some babies, a likely return of a favorite and there could possibly be a wedding." Now that's something to sing about!

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