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September 19, 2014

Katherine Heigl is leaving Grey's Anatomy!!! (just not permanently)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 2nd 2009 6:01PM

Katherine Heigl
If only it were permanent. (Commence booing and hissing at your leisure.)

Turns out that Meredith Grey's temporary departure from Grey's Anatomy this coming sixth season (Ellen Pompeo is going out on maternity leave) won't be the only character taking leave from the halls of Seattle Grace. Katherine Heigl's chock-full-o'-cancer Izzie Stevens will be going MIA for a few episodes as well.

If you're like me, the how and why doesn't really matter because this is just delightful news (my dislike for Heigl and her outbursts is no secret), but the details and spoilers are after the jump if you really want to know.

According to Jennifer Godwin over at Watch With Kristin, Heigl has been granted leave by the powers that be to -- wait for it -- shoot a movie! Considering the recent comments made by ABC prez Steve McPherson at the TCA, this is shocking. With all the crap she's spewed, you'd think that rather than give in to Heigl's obvious desire to advance her film career, they'd want to torture her and give Izzie a story where she gets leprosy, loses both legs, and literally can't leave Seattle Grace. But no, Heigl is heading off to film a date flick with Josh Duhamel.

Believe it or not though, this gets juicer. How can they get by with both Mer and Izzie gone? Godwin goes on to report that a major plot this season involves Seattle Grace merging with their cross-town rival hospital Mercy West. That means an influx of new characters and would explain the casting bonanza the drama has experienced the past few days - there's going to be a lot of new faces wandering the halls.

Why the merge? Longevity. Apparently ABC would like Grey's Anatomy to reach Law & Order or ER status and stay on for a decade or more. This merge will be the first real test to see if older characters can leave and newer ones can be rotated in. More characters means more options.

Makes sense and I find the attempt admirable, but you know what actually bugs me about this more than anything? Say the show is still on in five or six years with an entirely different cast as we know it right now. It'll still be called Grey's Anatomy and that just won't make sense anymore. It hardly makes sense right now as Meredith hasn't truly been the focal point of the show since early on in season two. Although, they did introduce Lexie and Thatcher could have easily had six or seven more illegitimate children while in a drunken stupor... nevermind.

If longevity was the goal, giving it a more generic name alá Chicago Hope or St. Elsewhere might have been a smarter move. Although, who knows - maybe the show will actually suck without Izzie, fans will complain, and the title will get changed to Izzie Stevens, MD.

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Thomas

I'm pretty sure everyone that has complained on here has no idea what they are talking about. The show is great and so is Katherine Heigl, and her movies are good. Besides she must be doing something write for all of you guys to keep talking about her. Ha! And if you don't like the show watch something else...problem solved.

October 26 2009 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Thomas's comment
Bill Grey

I was really getting pretty bored the last couple of years because they continued the same romantic musical chairs. But I'm a big fan of the show and I think this year they're doing more interesting and engaging things. Never related to Ellen Pompeo's character until this year. I really like her now. In the past I mainly watched the show for Katherine Heigl and her more emotional character, which I like. I like her movies, too...(and if you Twitter much... you'll find a lot of others like her, too). I'm also really enjoying Sandra Oh and especially like Chyler Leigh's portayal of Lexy. I'm warming up to a couple of the new docs from Mercy West. I think they'll be good if given some room to act.

October 29 2009 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sara

The title would still work--Grey'a Anatomy is the name of an anatomy book for medical professionals, one of the first ever made. It was just ironic that Meredith happened to have the same last name, something I'm sure they did on purpose.

October 26 2009 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
San Francisco Catering

So is she or is she not leaving??? I am starting to get confused

http://www.balancecatering.com

October 25 2009 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jenn

Unlike a lot of commenters, I absolutely love GA, and I love Meredith Grey. I can nicely do without Izzie and am extremely grateful she's gone for a few episodes. They could make it permanent and I'd be happier.

I don't care if the title won't make sense if and when Ellen leaves. Chances are I will too at that time because she is the reason I watch. Not Ellen but Meredith. She's the heroine in this saga. I can't imagine rooting for anyone else if she left, except maybe Christina. But Christina works as a second, not as a leading lady, in my book. And Lexie isn't a dark enough character to build anything around. I don't want cute and happy on my screen all the time.

Suffice to say, title or not, they should've thought about longevity before the show began. Then I wouldn't have connected with the lead...nah. I stopped watching ER when Sherry Springfield left.

October 23 2009 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tori

for some reason it won't let me comment SSS. you obviously don't watch the show much... it's Seatle GRACE. not seatle grey's... wtf.

October 22 2009 at 2:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kat

I'm so sick of articles bashing on Katherine Heigl's character. To a lot of us, she makes the show. And she's not as annoying to me as Ellen Pompeo's character, and hers is what its named after. Yet STILL I would agree that the show wouldn't be the same without her (Ellen Pompeo).

I don't like the new characters so far. I miss Hahn and George. If it turns into ER I'll just stop watching (like most people did with that show)

October 19 2009 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kat's comment
SSS

the hospital the show takes place in is seattle GREYS hospital, for all of you claiming to know the show. so the show's title is a play on words of the book and refers to the "anatomy" of the hospital and all the people that make it up. if mer leaves, it will still be seattle greys hospital so the title still works.

October 20 2009 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kisha

OMG!! THE BOOK IS ''GRAY'S ANATOMY'' SPELLED WITH AND 'A'. SINCE THE SHOW IS SPELLED WITH AN 'E', AND ELLEN POMPEO LEAVES, THE SHOW TITLE SHOULD BE CHANGED, NOT KEPT THE SAME. OR CHANGE THE SPELLING. THESE 'MERCY WESTERS' SHOULD ALL BE FIRED!! :) YES THEY HAVE LOST FOCUS ON THE MAIN CHARACTER, MEREDITH. YES THERE IS TOO TOO MUCH FOCUS ON IZZIE. NO THEY CAN'T BRING BACK GEORGE BECAUSE IT WILL TURN INTO 'AS THE WORLD TURNS' WITH THEIR CONSTANT RESSURECTION OF JAMES STENBECK. THEY'RE OBVIOUSLY NOT BAD ACTORS SINCE THEY WON A GOLDEN GLOBE FOR BEST DRAMA SERIES. UNTIL EVERYONE STOPS WATCHING IT, INCLUDING ALL OF US POSTERS, IT WILL STILL BE ON. AND I DON'T INTEND TO STOP ANY TIME SOON.

October 17 2009 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kisha's comment
Chris

well said kisha. and its true it's "Gray's," not "Grey's," and while the title is obviously a play on words it only fits if Meredith "Grey" (or maybe Lexie I guess) is still on the show. otherwise it doesn't make sense.

October 18 2009 at 2:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jodi

Greys Anatomy is also the title for one of the best known medical books of all time --- so the title fits no matter who the characters are.

October 17 2009 at 1:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Octavia

Ok.. I'm not going to go all psycho and exclaim that she is my favorite character or actress...but I enjoy her character and the emotional connection that she brings to the story line. I still do enjoy the show..and while I am not over joyed and somewhat disappointed with all the changes that are going on right now.. I won't cut them off just yet..because I am a fan I will see this through for a while and see what they have to offer.... How long are Mer and Izzy going to be gone anyway??? Seriously if anyone knows.. could you please respond....

October 16 2009 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jen

I actually like Katherine Heigl. I could care less what she does or says off screen. I think she's a great actress and apparently so does Hollywood - seeing as they keep her around. Some of you people are just wayyyyy to obsessed. It's a show. She's an actress. Heaven forbid she express her point of view on anything. Just because she makes a lot of money doesn't mean she should have to work 20 hours a day. Some people make good money and work 4 hours a day. Get over it. Jealous much?

October 16 2009 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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