Isaiah Washington to Star in NBC Drama

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This should come as pleasant news to Isaiah Washington supporters: the actor will be getting a second shot on the small screen, courtesy of NBC.

USA Today has the story: Isaiah Washington, the embattled star fired from ABC's Grey's Anatomy last month, is officially back to work.

Better Days
Washington is reportedly set to guest-star on the network's high-profile remake of 1970s drama Bionic Woman this fall, and has signed a development deal to star in a potential action drama he pitched to the network for the 2008-09 TV season.

Washington, of course, was fired last month from the hit medical drama after on-set conflicts including use of an anti-gay slur, which later was connected to co-star T.R. Knight. Washington initially denied missteps, then apologized and underwent counseling at ABC's insistence.

But in subsequent interviews after his firing, he said racism might have been a factor and accused Knight of manipulating the controversy.

Katherine Pope, president of NBC's Universal Media Studios, says that despite the public baggage, Washington is "a brilliant actor," and she believes viewers will re-embrace him. "I think people watch characters on TV, not personalities" in the news, she says.

Washington won critical praise for his role as Dr. Preston Burke, who was written out of Grey's at the end of its third season in May, when he walked out on Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) moments before their planned wedding.

On Bionic Woman, he'll play an outsider with a mysterious agenda who is introduced early in the series and may either help the superpowered Jamie (Michelle Ryan, in the role first played by Lindsay Wagner) or take her down.

Washington signed on for at least five episodes of the drama, considered NBC's strongest shot this fall, in a crop developed by former entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who has since moved to the same post at Fox.

The Washington deal marks the first stamp of new NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman, who also is an executive producer of The Office and Ugly Betty.

"He's a totally awesome actor," Silverman says. "He did a great job for Grey's Anatomy and he's got a fan base." As for Washington's offscreen drama, "He's put that behind him. Let's give him a chance to do what he does."

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


IW is a fine and talented actor but it is the role he had in Grey's that brought out the best in him and vice versa he brought out the best in Grey's. The loss is not just for IW, but also for the show, and emotionally for most viewers and his fans. Burktina couple brought joy and romance, and Dr. Burke is the kind of man every woman dreams of could ABC be so stupid as to remove the highlight of their show ??? When they shot Burke, we got a panic attack that he may die coz he's going from the show. The relief has turned out to be shortlived. The show lost the most special element...Shonda created such a wonderful role for IW, and such delightful pairing of Burktina, how did she allow it to be ruined ? Still hope to see IW back on Grey's, and hope it's not too late for Cristina. Poor Cristina is lost without the good Dr Burke in her life, even if only as a friend. Heck the show is lost w/o him. IW brought alive the meaning of true love and depth in the show with his fine emotional acting. With him gone, it's become just another soap show of casual romps and lost the warmth/ joy of the deep abiding love of Burktina.


Isaiah Washington needs to return to this show -- the original cast is an ensemble and the characters and actors who portrayed them act in synergy to make this show the success that it is. Please let bygones be bygones, learn from the mistakes that were made here and move on - but not without Isaiah as Dr. Burke.


I know its late, but in mexico the first season just started! and ... to be honest i didint like it that much.... Cristina look depressed, lost! ... season 3 finally ... so saaad! pleaseee... bring Burke baaack!!!! :(


From RM in Boston
I've been a super fan of Grey's Anatomy. I can't believe ABC let Washington go............ huge loss for the show. The season premiere was dull and pointless without him. Besides everyone knows that Burke loves Christina........... Grey's Anatomy will not be able to make they're chemistry back. I look forward to Washingtons' role in the Bionic Woman and wish him great future success.


I watched the season premiere of GA and it was slow and disappointing with out Washington. WWWHHHHYYYYY did they let him go WWWHHHYYY! I guess I will have to check out Bionic Woman on NBC


I am so happy that NBC was smart enough to see pass the drama queens on GA. I had no intentions of watching the Bionic Woman, but definitely will do so now. I've given up on GA and ABC. I just wish there was some way to get Sandra Oh off the show so she and IW can do a show together. For some of the members on GA - and we know who they are - their day will come, including ABC.


OH people of greys anatomy!! I call out pleading and full of anguish to bring DR PRESTON BURKE back to the show!!! Its a tragedy that they allowed such a character to dissappear. Dr. Preston Burke is an inspiration to the general public, his character full of nobleness, humbleness, arrogance and confidence was truly admirable!!! Hell because of him im going to be a cardiothoracic surgeon!! So you see his influence is not merely for entertainment but also his characters heritage, beliefs and tradtion was a lesson for the general public!!!!! BRING HIM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I may be the only one but I'm glad he's gone. He's self absorbed. I'm glad NBC got him because Grey's will be better off without him!


I know it's not the same. Losing two talents like Kate and Isaiah is a big blow.


i'm happy for my man. i hate the phrase, "second chance". i personally don't agree with what he did as being all that big a deal. he was misunderstood, taken advantage of, used, betrayed and made a fool out of. he didn't finally put it behind him as if he couldn't get over it. he couldn't let it rest until the world knew the TRUTH. now that we know, he can move on. now you are a damn good actor if a major network can over look all the media damage following this man, all because he's just that good. what is greys loss is another shows gain. AND I HOPE THIS NEW SHOW COMES ON THURSDAYS 8/9. serves them right!


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.


Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)