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.


It's about time. Pretty sick of all the drama and I really haven't missed Izzie at all this season.


This show is SO over. They haven't given Heigl anything good in YEARS. She's been gone so long now ... Izzie who? Grey's won't be on much longer, the creator is moving on to a new medical drama, so say your good byes fans.


I hope that he negative attitude and bratty behavior are reflected in her oh-so-precious movie career. At this point, there's nothing I'd like better than for her career to tank and for her to disappear. It's not like her movies are more than fluff. The Ugly Truth was one of the worst things I've ever seen, and I certainly won't put another dime in this slag's pocket. Grey's Anatomy can only improve with her absence.


noooooooooooo y izzie i want her to stay she was my fav character im just going to stop watching the show from now on even though i love greys i would want izzie stevens back on i love her she was the best now shes not coming back :(


kinda sad. but not surprised. she hasn't been in a lot of eposides this season so you not going to miss her much. but i love izzie. i live in ireland so don't hear a lot about on set drama unless i see it here, so her leaving is sad for me.


And what about Alex? His and Izzie's relationship was a huge part of character's story. During the last episodes he's been seen only as a stud... I'm just wondering how long this show is going to continue with these kind of decisions? (according to wikipedia it's been going down in viewers rankings too - no surprise!)


This is annoying! Izzie is - was - my favourite character. Too bad scripts were so bad for her and George starting from season three. Their affair was the most stupid thing ever - right after George's vanishment and death, of course. And now Izzie is just gone?? I hate to think that this show had such a great potential during its first seasons - now all lost. I still watch it but it just isn't the same anymore... Think about the name: it's Grey's anatomy but what interesting things have actually happened to Meredith for a long, long time? Nothing. Sloan, Callie, Lexie and Teddy seem to be the new leading characters.
Too bad they've totally ruined this show.


I'm honestly not disappointed or surprised. Izzie was an integral part of this show in its early years, and I think both KH and her character were phenomenal in seasons 1-4. Her sheer range of emotion was incredible...just thinking back to the episode where her daughter was in the hospital, or when she was in love with George, or her wedding...those were some very special moments. But now, I think her character would really have to be developed, and she'd have to make a completely fresh start. You can't come out of cancer, almost die, lose your best friend, your job and your husband and not reinvent yourself. So maybe her departure comes at an optimal time.


Nooooo, this is so sad!!! I will miss Izzie terribly, she was my favorite character ever since day 1. I think she has not made wrong decisions in all these quarrels, she just honestly stated her opinion. It's very, very disappointing that she doesn't get a real send-off. She's just gone- that's it?! Can they at least make up a really cool story about it then? If this is Katherine's decision, then that is the only one of hers that I've ever disapproved off.


I still like GA very much, also with the new characters, and I find it understandable that actors after years spent playing the same character, want to move on. It will be interesting though to see what will happen after season 7. As far as KH is concerned, I find her behaviour (complaining all these years about the show, and her lack of interest for Izzie and Izzie's fans during this season) really ungrateful towards the character which has made her famous (I didn't even know she existed before Grey's). She's missed already so many episodes and since she doesn't want to stay anyway for the next season, I think they were right in letting Alex tell her not to come back, and make HIM end their story this way. What would be the point now in having her back for the last couple of episodes in this season? A very clever move, Shonda! By the way, what I also find out of line is KH using her adopted daughter as an excuse for not working on Grey's set: with all the movies she's making I wonder when she has time to spend with that little girl, whom she also made a point of letting everybody know has "special needs"!

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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.