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.