Shonda Rhimes Confirms Katherine Heigl Return to Grey's Anatomy

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At the 41st Annual NAACP Awards on Friday night, Shonda Rhimes talked a little about Grey's Anatomy, including what’s in store for Katherine Heigl’s character.

Well, sort of. At least we know that her character will be involved in ... something. “She’s written into the next script,” Shonda revealed to reporters at the event.

Heigl's stint on the drama has been marked by controversy the past two seasons and by two prolonged absences in the current Season Six. But she'll be back.

While we know that Izzie Stevens, who suffered from an almost lethal bout with cancer, is definitely returning, the fate of the Chief of Surgery is another story.

At a Meeting
Isobel Stevens Photo

What does the future hold for Richard and Izzie?

“Well, I love James Pickens and I think that we’re going to get to see a lot more of him and what happens to his character and explore what happens to a doctor when they go to rehab and eventually come out the other side,” Shonda explains of his character, Richard Webber.

But any show needs a bit of new blood, and some change to keep running on all cylinders. Shonda Rhimes agrees that Jesse Williams is perfect to fill that role.

“We developed his character a little more and illuminate who he is a little more to give more time to him… I think it was nice to bring in people that the audience would hate and our characters would have to rise against,” she revealed after the awards ceremony in L.A.

Guess he's not one of the two Mercy Westers who'll be fired.

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

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

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)