Katherine Heigl Out at Grey's Anatomy, Will Not Appear on Series Again

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After six seasons on Grey’s Anatomy, Katherine Heigl is finally nearing a discharge.

EW says series creator Shonda Rhimes has agreed to release the fast-rising movie star from her contract and it's up to ABC Studios and Heigl’s reps to hash out an exit agreement.

Why is all of this coming down right now? That’s where things get interesting.

After taking more than half of the current season off to make another movie and connect with her adopted daughter, Heigl was scheduled to return to the Grey’s Anatomy set on March 1 to begin work on the five remaining episodes of the season.

Just one problem: March 1 came and went and there was no Heigl.

Stevens Returns

A source within the actress’ camp claims that Katherine “was at home and ready to return to work.” Another insider, however, “insists that it’s much more complicated than that.”

So she just didn't go in? This whole thing is bizarre.

The source adds that talks between Heigl and ABC have been going on for months and last week both sides mutually decided that the best solution would be to part ways now.

As a result, Heigl is not expected to return to the Grey’s Anatomy set this season after all, which means her final episode as original character Dr. Izzie Stevens already aired.

The soon-to-be-finalized break-up caps a long history between Heigl and Grey’s Anatomy that can be described as contentions. Some of the more high-profile squabbles:
  • In 2007, Heigl found herself in the middle of the T.R. Knight / Isaiah Washington feud when she publicly dissed Isaiah for repeating the F-word at the Golden Globes.
  • In 2008, Heigl took a swipe at Grey’s Anatomy writers when she announced that she wasn’t entering the Emmy race because “did not feel I was given the material."
  • In 2009, she whined to David Letterman that Grey’s Anatomy was subjecting her to intolerable working conditions. “A 17-hour day, which I think is cruel and mean.”
  • Multiple times over the course of those years, Heigl's disagreements over her contract situation became public, with speculation that Season Five would be her last.

The bottom line is that we don't suspect that there will be any love lost on either side as this whole sordid chapter comes to an end. But how do you feel about it as fans?

Happy this ordeal is finally over? Couldn't care less? Sad that she's leaving, or at least sad that she's not getting a formal send-off and just vanishing?

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


I read elsewhere that KH hasn't returned to flim GA, is that correct? If true, the realtionships between KH and GA producers has really broken down. There will have to be major rewrites for so many characters to replace the Izzie storylines, I can't believe the producers would want this to happen. I think GA lost Iz as a character during S4. I hated S5 cos there was too much Denny. I didn't cry once at izzie's illness, and I cry very easily at sad tv programmes. But I feel we're going to be denied Iz stirring things up for so many of SGH docs if she doesn't reappear. I'll be sad for that


The show could survive one main character leaving, but not Izzy as well... Do they really think they can fill the void with Teddy and Arizona??? Don't get me wrong, I like those characters but ever since Izzy went away I've been waiting for her return and now that it isn't coming I'm not sure if I want to keep supporting this show. DON'T KEEP CUTTING OUR FAVOURITE CHARACTERS!!!!


I totally agree with you McDreamyFace! We had enough of Stevens Anatomy in season 5. And seriously this is NOT Shonda's fault, it was KH that didn't show up for work after her maternity leave. Shonda said that KH was going to return, and she didn't, so it is on her! She wanted out so I am glad they let her go, enough with her bitchness.. she can go and do her romantic fluffy movies now!


I think Shonda should've killed her off in the season 5 finale. It would've been better and easier. George should've stay mangle and in a coma and died in episode 2 or 3 of season 6


You know what is the problem with KH is that she doesn't know how to give her opinion without coming out as a bitch. When she was talking about the long hours that they were working at GA, she was joking because GA is not the only show whose actors work for 16-17 hours a day. She is not a comedian, therefore the joke wasn't funny, so it came out as a complain. When KH came out against IW, she should've stay out of it at least publicly just like everybody else did. She should've been there for TRK privately, not publicly. When she withdrew her name from the Emmy, she should've blamed herself not the writers even if was true that the writer didn't give her a good material. She should've said that she felt she didn't give a good performance to deserve a Emmy nomination. She came out as arrogant bitch that blamed others. So that is the problem with her. She needs to learn how to be diplomatic about her opinions. This is a business about egos and if don't appease those ego publicly then you won't get anywhere.


This is soo awful & terrible. I am devasted.
I am so angry at Shonda for lying abt it. Atleast the fans deserve to know....this is sooo worst than her dying


Kh is very lucky to have a film career waiting for her. What's happened to TR and the bloke who played Burke? Many actors contracted to a tv series are blighted with being type cast. I find it hard to watch PD in other things I keep looking for Meredith (sad I know). KH is a romcom actress who'll make a good living at that if she has a fan base that will go to her films. Izzie's optomism and positive view on life was very much a contrast to Mer, Cris and Alex's view on things.But Iz was a good counter balance for this. Mer's not in such a dark place anymore so things have evolved without Iz. Shame really cos I would have been interested to see if Alex and iz would have drifted back together again


I'll miss Izzie, but too true on the fact that some people forget that it's Grey's Anatomy and it's the story of Meredith's life..


People the show is about Meredith and her woes not Izzie. It's Grey's Anatomy not Stevens Anatomy. And the writers should get back to basic and focus more on Meredith again, maybe bring in a real wedding for Derek and Meredith, make it a surprise wedding on Derek's property, make it so secret that Meredith and Derek are told there's something going on at Derek's property that needs both of your attention, Derek and Meredith turn up to the property, they spot this white ribbon tied to a tree they approach it and notice that there's a message telling them to stay on the path, when they reach the end they find themselves in a clearing where an alter has been erected with a justice of the peace standing there and he/she asks I have one question are you ready to be married for real, there is a split second of panic on Mer's face til she says I am so ready to make my post-it wedding a real wedding.


I have to say I wish they would just end the show with next season. Maybe the writers could plan a little and get back to the things that made this show so interesting. It wasn't just about the Medical Cases, and it wasn't just about their love lives - it was about how to be an intern and deal with all of these things. There is no obstacle now for the characters. There is nothing they have to prove really as Residents. I am not a writer but I think they need to get together and figure out how to end this show and bring it back to its former glory on its way out.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.