T.R. Knight, a.k.a. the lovable George O'Malley, is expected to return as a series regular, Entertainment Weekly reports this morning.
Speculation has been swirling about his departure from Seattle Grace â€" not only because of what happened in the finale (George didn't pass his intern exam) but because of two incidents earlier this season with his co-star, Isaiah Washington, who referred to Knight using a homophobic slur.
According to one insider close to the negotiation, T.R. Knight has agreed to a new contract that will boost his per-episode salary to roughly $125,000 and give him a small piece of the show profits (pay hikes and profit points were also granted to many of Knight's co-stars, including Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, and Sandra Oh).
Still up in the air, however, is the fate of Washington, whose character, Preston Burke, appeared to flee Seattle in the finale.
That said, the same insider hints that Isaiah Washington will be back as a series regular (although possibly without the same boost in pay).
"A cliffhanger is meant to keep the audience in anticipation and intrigue until fall," demurred an inside source at ABC Television Studios, which produces Grey's Anatomy for ABC.
Washington's publicist also declined comment. Meanwhile, TV Guide reports that a final decision involving Isaiah's contract status and his return to the series is expected within the next week or so.