LOS ANGELES – Doctor doctor, give us the news. But ABC is staying mum about the reported on-set scuffle between the actors portraying Dr. McDreamy and Dr. Burke on TV's top-rated "Grey's Anatomy."
An argument between Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey got physical and led to a temporary pause in production, the New York Daily News reported in its Wednesday editions.
The actors shared a heated exchange Monday about cast members delaying a scene when Washington, 43, grabbed Dempsey, 40, by the throat and shoved him, according to the newspaper.
Representatives for the actors said the two have made amends.
"Differences are inevitable," Washington's publicist, Cynthia Snyder, said in a statement. "They were aired, resolved and everyone has moved on."
Dempsey's spokeswoman echoed that sentiment: "There was an argument on set. In any close-knit family, sometimes people argue. But everybody made up and went back to work."
On-set arguments are common, said TV historian Tim Brooks, co-author of "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows."
"Diva-like conduct is certainly not unusual," he said. "You have a lot of egos there, and you have a lot of creative people who think they're more creative than the other."
"Moonlighting," which aired from 1985 to 1989, was famous for its fighting on set, Brooks said. More recently, rumors of on-set animosity dogged ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and The WB's "Charmed."
But physical violence "is pretty unusual," he said, adding that anything that harms an actor's appearance could affect their work.
"Dr. McDreamy needs his cheekbones," Brooks said. "Real violence can lead to fictional violence that can end your job."
Now in its third season, "Grey's Anatomy" has been the No. 1 show in the Nielsen ratings for two of the new season's three weeks. The romantic medical drama centers on the personal and professional lives of surgeons and interns at the fictional Seattle Grace hospital. Besides Dempsey and Washington, the show stars Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl and Ellen Pompeo.
The show earned 11 Emmy nominations this year, including one for best drama, and won the prize for outstanding casting. It was also nominated for three Golden Globe awards and Oh won for best supporting actress.