Isaiah Washington Signs New Deal With NBC

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A surprise reunion for Isaiah Washington and two of his former Grey's Anatomy co-stars - James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson - took place at an event for a good cause.

The actor, who was let go from the ABC hit in June, unexpectedly showed up at Kiki Shepard's 5th Annual Celebrity Bowling Challenge to "Bowl a Strike for Sickle Cell Disease" for charity at the PINZ Entertainment Center in Studio City, Calif.

Washington, who seemed in good spirits, in stark contrast to the aftermath of his firing, greeted Pickens with a pat on the back before the two got to chatting and catching up, then gave Wilson a hearty hug and kiss hello.

Carrying an unlit cigar, Washington opted not to bowl and instead compared himself to Malcolm X watched as Pickens showed off some of his skills with a few strikes and a couple of spares.

Washington has landed some new TV gigs, including a guest-starring role on this fall's NBC remake of The Bionic Woman with Michelle Ryan.

He's also landed a development deal as the lead star in a potential action drama he pitched to NBC for the 2008-09 season, according to USA Today, which was first to report his latest career moves.

While details of his character on The Bionic Woman remain a mystery, NBC co-chair Ben Silverman tells People that this could be a stepping stone for Washington.

"I think he could be an action star," he said. "There aren't any African-American action stars on television, so I thought [we would] give him a forum to do his thing."

Silverman, who knows Washington through a mutual friend who's organizing charitable events in Africa, made the decision to hire Washington based on personal knowledge rather than the hype surrounding his spat with T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey on Grey's.

"I just think he's a great actor," says Silverman.

As for Washington's former home base, with the Grey's team having reported back to work last Monday, Wilson told People it just isn't the same.

"There's something's missing," said Wilson. "There are definitely big voids there, so you're trying to figure out how do you work now with the voids ... not only personally but for the characters ... and what does that mean?'"

Pickens declined to discuss Washington but did offer some kind words for Kate Walsh, who is also gone, preparing to start her own show, Private Practice.

"She was such integral part of the cast and so beautiful and funny," he said. "But I'm so happy for her with the new show. I wish her nothing but success with it."

At Monday's gathering of the cast - the first since Grey's Anatomy broke in May - "We started with a vengeance," said Wilson. "It's like full 14-hour days already, so it didn't feel like we took a break."

Added Pickens: "You hit the ground running."

Added to the cast is Chyler Leigh, who plays Lexie Grey, Meredith Grey's half-sister and a new Seattle Grace intern.

"She's really talented." Pickens said of Chyler Leigh. "We're looking forward to seeing how she integrates into the cast. I haven't had any scenes with her, but from what I've seen I think she's going to be a great addition."

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