‘Grey’s’ fans hit and miss with spoilers

Plot-craving audiences feed on speculation

Amid the surprising relationships, unexpected changes in sexual orientation and shocking breakups and reconciliations that the docs of “Grey’s Anatomy” have gone through in the past 100 episodes, the show has generated a robust collection of insider leaks, fan speculation and self-promoting spoiler sites.

By now, showrunner Shonda Rhimes and her staff know that you can’t get the audience passion without the occasional nuisance. In the past, many spoilers have come close to the truth; several others strayed far off script. Consider these predictions from the past seasons:

  • Chris O’Donnell would play Izzie’s love interest. (He was Meredith’s.)

  • Callie would get pregnant! It was George’s! It was Mark’s! (Her uterus remained baby-free.)

  • Burke would be killed. (He just disappeared.)

  • Isaiah Washington, who played Burke, would return as a guest. (Burke appeared only in a photo.)

  • Alex would fail the medical boards. (George flunked instead.)

  • Sloan and Hahn would get together. (It was Callie who fell for Hahn.)

Spoiler-loving fans have grown so insatiable that Rhimes has had to get creative. After Rhimes pooh-poohed reports last year that Izzie would develop a brain tumor, she defended her vehement denials by pointing out that technically it was a brain metastasis.

“Let the record show that when cornered,” E! Online columnist Kristin Dos Santos wrote, “‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Private Practice’ boss Shonda Rhimes will outwit you, even if she has to stretch the truth a little.”

So when the tight-lipped creator is quoted as saying, “The only thing I’ll tell you about the 100th (episode) is that it takes place on Meredith and Derek’s wedding day,” fans and apparently even TV reporters know better than to expect an ordinary walk down the aisle.