It's Official: T.R. Knight Will Not Return to Grey's Anatomy

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The sixth season premiere is still months away, but one of last season's bigger Grey's Anatomy cliffhangers has already been resolved. Sources have confirmed to Entertainment Weekly the following: T.R. Knight's wish to be released from his contract has been granted.

He will not return to the show.

The official decision, according to Michael Ausiello, came down in the past few days, just as many of his castmates began receiving their formal pickup letters from ABC.

The actor's exit closes yet another rocky chapter for the embattled show, one that opened with Isaiah Washington-gate and worsened when, amid rumors that Knight was clashing with series creator Shonda Rhimes, George O'Malley was back-burnered.

Finally, Knight grew so fed up with his character's lack of storyline that he asked if he could check out three years before his deal expired. After that, indications were that he would be let go, although Rhimes didn't make a final decision until recently.

Contractually speaking, she had until June 30 to make up her mind.

007

Last month, Rhimes said George's relatively light storyline this year was the result of the normal "ebbs and flows" of ensemble television. But Shonda did acknowledge that he was intentionally written lighter during the last half of the season.

That way, viewers wouldn't think it odd that he was absent from the season finale - something that was necessary to preserve the episode's biggest twist: that George O'Malley was actually the disfigured John Doe who had been hit by a bus (above).

"I really wanted you to not notice that he wasn't there for most of this episode," she said. "I don't think anybody noticed because of the way we laid it out this season."

TR Knight's departure would seem to indicate George's demise as a character, however, some fans have wondered if Rhimes is planning to pull an Elizabeth Reaser (Jane Doe/Rebecca from Season Three) and have him live, only to be replaced by another actor.

That's "hilarious, ridiculous," the boss has said.

However, rumor has it that Rhimes was indeed interested in having Knight appear in next season's first three episodes, but a short-term deal could not be brokered.

Reps for Knight and ABC declined to comment.

Now that the question of George O'Malley's future seems to have been answered, albeit sadly, another puzzler moves to the forefront: What's going to happen to Katherine Heigl and Izzie, whose life also hung in the balance in last May's capper?

Sound off on both topics below ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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YESSSSS!!!!!! George is gone!!! I'm so happy!! He was so boring! And annoying, and whiny, and just pretty much a big overgrown baby. Him and Mer would have been perfect for each other.
Christina's the best! I love her.
I like Alex, I like Torres, and I miss Burke.
Yes I said it, I miss Burke. MUAHAHAHAHHAH

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I'm sad. I loved George. he's the best

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Burke is a great character and the actor has a great performance. It would be nice watch burke and owen work together. They are both excellent actors.

Mcdreamylover18

RIP 007

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I don't know if I can watch this show anymore. I want to CRY when I think of this.. I love you George :(

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I still find it suspicious that they had George's implied "fatal" injuries include having his face so badly disfigured that he was not recognizable. Seems like the perfect set-up to have someone else step into George's role, if only for a few episodes. And what was the purpose of George's signing up for the service, which was totally out of character, only to kill him off before he could go or even explain why???? Are we supposed to believe that the soldier, who should have been given psychological help instead of mutilating him by cutting off a healthy leg, inspired gentle George to want to rush into a war zone? Really??? George, who was tortured by the thought of shooting a turkey, volunteering to go to war??? Talk about a contrivance!!!! As the GA crew would say, "SERIOUSLY???"

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I was seriously saddened to here of T.R leaving the show, a heart-throb and a brilliant actor. To be honest i more or less expected Katherine H to leave as she had scored several outside deals- eg. 'Knocked Up'. George O'Malley will be missed.. and i still have a tear in my eye! I wish him the best (T R)

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oh my god ,
o ' malley , please dont leave us !
he is my absolute favorite character on grey ' s and he can ' t leave !
i bawled for a week when i found out the john doe was o ' malley , and i watch the season finale about once or twice a week .

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don't leave george :(( come back. :((((

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Does anyone know what 007 meant?

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

When we say things like "people don't change" it drives scientist crazy because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy. Matter. It's always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It's the way people try not to change that's unnatural. The way we cling to what things were instead of letting things be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing despite every scientific indication that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change that's up to us. It can feel like death or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment we can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, we can be born all over again.

Meredith

Callie: Did anyone ever think you two were a couple?
Meredith: No, because we screw boys like whores on tequila.
Cristina: Then we either try to marry them or drown ourselves.
Callie: Huh.