Diggs goes for 'Grey' spin

By Nellie Andreeva
Taye Diggs has been tapped to star opposite Kate Walsh in ABC's potential spinoff from hit medical drama "Grey's Anatomy."

Additionally, "Grey" producer ABC TV Studio has extended for two more years its overall deal with O'Taye Prods., Diggs' production company with his longtime manager, Abe Hoch.

The potential spinoff will test the waters as a back-door pilot, an expanded two-hour episode of "Grey" slated to air in May. It will center on neonatal surgeon Addison Shepherd (Walsh), a character that has enjoyed a strong following from fans since she was introduced at the end of the hot surgical drama's first season.

It is understood that the back-door pilot episode will feature Shepherd on the verge of leaving Seattle Grace, a scenario that will be triggered if ABC goes with the spinoff for next season. There were no details on the character Diggs will play.

"Grey" creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes is writing the episode and is expected to shepherd the potential series. Meanwhile, Rhimes' other pilot for ABC and ABC TV Studio, about female journalists, has been pushed to a summer production start.

Diggs' casting in the "Grey" spinoff stems from a new talent holding deal he recently inked with ABC TV Studio.

Diggs has a long-standing relationship with the studio. He toplined two drama series for them, "Kevin Hill" for UPN and "Day Break" for ABC. He also served as a producer on both, along with Hoch.

O'Taye Prods.' new two-year deal with ABC TV Studio is set to kick in in June when the company's current pact with the studio expires. Through its relationship with ABC TV Studio, O'Taye Prods. is working on several projects.

"Ph.D.," a drama from writer M. Scott Veach described as " 'CSI' in college," has been set up at ABC Family.

Additionally, the company has inked a blind script commitment with writer John Ridley ("Three Kings") and is developing "Holmes," a detective drama with a twist from writer Adrian Fulle.

Diggs also is repped by Endeavor and attorney Ken Weinrib.