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The TV Column: Executives Sound Coy About New Series's Political Edge

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"There's a sensitivity, and there's kind of an emotion to her that balances out 'Idol,' and we'd love to get a piece of that," McPherson said.

He didn't specify whether he saw her as a contestant or "participant of some sort -- judge, et cetera" on "Dancing."

Despite his vagueness, hyperventilating critics began to blog and tweet that Paula was surely bound for "Dancing With the Stars." This is not to be confused with their hyperventilated blogging and tweeting of a few days earlier that Paula was surely bound for Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance." Those were issued the day Nigel Lythgoe came to the press tour and told them he too would like to get a piece of Paula.

No word yet as to whether either dance show would be willing to cough up the $4 millionish-per-year offer from which Paula sashayed away.

While gushing over Abdul, McPherson was much less enthusiastic about his "Grey's Anatomy" star Heigl, who's been doing The Diva again.

In this chapter of Why People Hate Heigl, the actress went on David Letterman's CBS late night show to promote her latest mediocre romantic comedy, "The Ugly Truth," and mentioned she'd returned to work on the new season of "Grey's."

"Our first day back was Wednesday and it was -- I'm going to keep saying this because I hope it embarrasses them -- a 17-hour day, which I think is cruel and mean," Heigl emoted, looking like a close-up of Joan Crawford.

But the show's producers and crew were not, in fact, embarrassed. Because, turns out, shooting had run long in order to accommodate Heigl's movie-plugging activities on that day. At least that's the skinny that somehow got leaked to various celebrity suck-up rags, blogs and shows after Heigl's late-night appearance.

"It's unfortunate," McPherson said of Heigl's latest outburst of you-may-kiss-the-hem-of-my-skirt attitude toward the television series that made her a star.

"People are going to behave in the way they choose to behave. There are so many people who work unbelievably hard on 'Grey's' and . . . go without any notoriety or credit for it. It's really hard for them to hear [Heigl's comments] . . . the people who are really busting their tail every day and feeling like they're either being looked down upon or criticized."

It was a rare treat for TV critics because Hollywood suits never ever smack down their stars in public -- much less in front of 200 members of the press.

And McPherson is Heigl's boss times two. He not only runs the network's entertainment division, he also runs the Disney TV production division that makes "Grey's" for the ABC network.

It's not the first time Heigl's gone all diva about the ABC hospital drama. One year after her surprise Emmy win for best supporting actress in a drama series, she did not submit herself for Emmy consideration, telling the press she had not been given good enough material on the show that season to warrant throwing her hat into the ring.


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