Jeffrey Dean Morgan is staying almost as busy in death as he was in life in the Grey's Anatomy universe. The actor is returning on April 12 to headline the show's latest recap special.
During a telephone chat last week, Morgan explained to TV Guide's Michael Ausiello that this won't be your standard clip show. He also says Grey's didn't jump the shark when Meredith went to heaven, and sets the record straight about the status of his rumored-to-be-dead Shonda Rhimes show...
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: They're going to use me as an on-camera host. They've never done anything like that before. Usually it's all voice-over. That'll be interesting. I haven't seen a script yet, so I'm kind of on pins and needles myself.
TV Guide: Rumor has it the Grey's Anatomy spin-off killed your forthcoming war-correspondents drama. True?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: I got a phone call from [Shonda Rhimes] the day before the Grey's Anatomy spin-off (starring Kate Walsh) was announced, telling me it does not affect my show whatsoever. As far as I know, we're going into production this summer for a mid-season replacement next year. The idea would be to do six or 13 episodes. I know everybody's saying it's on the back burner or dying a slow, painful death, but I don't think that's the case. Until I hear differently, we're moving forward with it. I haven't heard differently, and believe me, I've checked. I make sure that no one's forgetting about me over here.
TV Guide: Looking back, how do you think Denny's February-sweeps return turned out?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: Shonda called me and said, "Would you be willing to come back?" And I, of course, said, "Yeah," hung up the phone and "How?" became an immediate question. And I don't think even she knew exactly how that was going to play itself out. I got the script about a week before I went out there to shoot it, and even then I was like, "Is this going to work?" It's kind of a big jump from what they normally do, but I thought it was pulled off beautifully. I was really excited to do Denny again. I thought we put him to bed last year, so any chance I get to play him I'm a happy guy.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: I don't know if the show's jumpin' the shark if 30 million people are still tuning in to watch it. You're going to always have your detractors, but the point is, it's the No. 1 show on TV. I laugh off those comments. It's a good show, the writing is spectacular, and it's so well acted. I don't think it's jumping the shark. Fonzie is not putting on the shorts and waterskiing at this point. [Laughs]
TV Guide: I loved the final scene with Denny and Izzie brushing past each other. What was it like shooting it?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: It was very bittersweet. When I originally was told I was coming back, I assumed I'd be with [Katherine Heigl]. I didn't see the Meredith thing coming at all. So when I finally saw Katie that day and we did that scene, it was very bittersweet, because we spent so much time together. It was sad. That scene was such a cool scene to do, and the way [the director] shot it, it turned out beautifully. It was great. I wished Denny and Izzie could have reconnected more than that, but I thought that was so powerful and such a good way to end that story line. It was well worth it.
TV Guide: So the story is over?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: I can only assume. I can't see Denny coming back again. He walked into the white light, for god's sake. I hope he's not in purgatory in that hospital forever. I can't imagine. But you never know. Sweeps week, something could change. [Laughs]
TV Guide: A lot has transpired behind the scenes since the last time you were on the set. Was the mood more tense?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: The week I was there, we had a great time. It was a lot of fun seeing everybody again. There was a lot of excitement happening at that time. [Patrick Dempsey] was just about to have his kids; the show just won the SAG Award and the Golden Globe. It was pretty upbeat when I was around. I didn't see any goofiness happening.
TV Guide: What can you tell me about your return to Supernatural?
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: I can't confirm nor deny.
TV Guide: C'mon, we know you're coming back.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan: I've been instructed to dummy up on Supernatural. I can't say anything about that. Warner Bros. gave me specific directions: "Don't say squat!" They know you, I guess, Mike.