Grey's Anatomy Izzie Returning

Grey's Anatomy Boss Shonda Rhimes Crushes My Katherine Heigl Comeback Dream: 'I'm Done With That Story'

No one can say I didn’t try.

Despite my best efforts, Katherine Heigl will not be gracing Grey’s Anatomy with her presence this coming season.

Or any season, for that matter.

Nearly three months after I publicly called on Heigl and ex-boss Shonda Rhimes to bury the hatchet and give fans (read: me) closure to the Alex-Izzie love story, I decided to deliver my campaign message to Rhimes face-to-face Wednesday night at ABC’s Television Critics Association press tour-themed bash at the Beverly Hilton.

But a mere three seconds into my pitch — for the record I was proposing a one- or two-episode comeback stint — Rhimes shut me down. Hard.

“No,” she interjected, shaking her head and leaving little room for me to wiggle. “I’m done with that story. I’ve turned that idea over in my mind a thousand times and thought about how it would go. And I don’t think so.”

I briefly considered pressing the issue. After all, she began with a firm “no” but ended with an decidedly more ambiguous “I don’t think so,” so one could argue that I was already making some headway. But Rhimes’ body language and tone were sending me a message that was loud, clear and concise, and it went something like this: Ausiello, it’s time to move on.

And move on I shall… until I dredge the whole thing up again a few weeks before the start of Season 13.

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83 Comments
  1. Alicia Gray says:

    SHONDA. FIRST SANE THING YOU’VE DONE IN AGES! <3 lol yes that ended caps.

    • mika says:

      Ditto. I’m so glad she finally put a nail in that coffin. #soovereverythingizzie

    • pamua says:

      Hmm…I’m not sure “sane” is the word I would use for a showrunner who in Season 12 (!) refuses to consider a very good option that could keep her show relevant and endear herself to the fans who made these 12 years happen in the first place.

      The same fans she angered many times with unnecessarily nasty “kill-offs” of fan-favourite characters (did we really need the tidbit about the wolves eating the already crushed body of Lexie ? did the world-class surgeon really had to die in the hands of incapable doctors of a tiny hospital ? “seriously ?”).

      Izzie is an iconic character whose (even brief) return would have made the new season (premiere) an event and that is something a show in its 12th season could afford to pass on. But I guess petty backstage fights and ego are more important than long-time fans…no surprise there. Though you know what WILL be a surprise for Shonda Rhimes in September ? The ratings. My guess is it will be the first season to open under 2.0 in 18/49. That’s just an observation, not something I would love to see happen. I love the show and though based on this post it may not look it, I also have great respect for Shonda Rhimes’s work – she had her moments as a writer and she did create excellent opportunities for women and women of color – but I do not appreciate how she keeps coming off as someone who puts her personal feelings first instead of the work…not to mention the fans.

      I mean, let’s face it, the happy ending for Lexie and Mark was that they could die together, the lead’s end game (of 11 years) is now gone, the fan-favourite Calizona broke up and the one happy development – Jackson and April got pregnant – of course had to be turned into a dead baby situation. Clearly anyone who loves GA, loves good drama but for the record, a series of tragedies does not equal good drama. It equals somewhat lazy writing that repeatedly sensationalises death. That’s all.

      • pamua says:

        *that is something a show in its 12th season could NOT afford to pass on

        P.S. Not even CONSIDERING Izzie for the outside chief candidate arc is probably the one decision I honestly can’t get my head around. That whole set up in the season finale screamed “blast from the past”…just saying.

      • Betty says:

        I agree long time fan from the beginning & one who buys the video’s…. Let’s keep the fans in mind and do the unexpected to keep Greys Anatomy on T.V.
        We respect and appreciate you but so many sad endings are starting to get exhausting. Enjoy Karev & Jo but Izzie & Karev would have been something to talk about!! At least for a season. April & Jackson are like Derek & Meridith only younger & full of excitement.. Thank you

  2. Abe Froman says:

    Yeah, move on. Katherine Heigl burned that bridge to dust.

  3. Sammy says:

    You gave it your best shot! Unfortunately, Shonda Rhimes seems to be all about killing a lot of “Grey’s Anatomy” dreams. Except for killing Derek, it’s not like she writes anymore for it anyway. What is even left of this show?

  4. abz says:

    This woman has had many TV series and has kept Grey’s going for 10+ years now reinventing itself many times, and she thinks some of us are gonna buy the fact that she and her writers can’t come up with some sort of way to have her return for a small guest stint? Please. I doubt she thought about anything regarding an Izzie return. She just doesn’t want to do it. :/

    • A.M says:

      And she’s justified if she doesn’t want to do it…

    • Patrick says:

      We’ll see. If the ratings aren’t great as of say, mid November, I have a feeling she might change her tune by the Winter Hiatus. And if she doesn’t, the network might make that decision for her.

      • Sam says:

        Probably not. The network loves Rhines and she can write her own ticket by now. She has a multitude of hits for ABC (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and a NEW show this fall) and only one flop (Off The Range). She has made Disney more money than any other show runner in the network’s history. You think the network is going to force her to change her mind, or she will want to? Guess again. This woman is well within her right after what happened to keep that actress who is getting desperate off her show. While Rhines is a very successful studio executive now Higel has a career that is tanking. You think ABC will challenge their money train for one actress and an aging show? Think again.

  5. Ari says:

    Why am I the only person who thinks there was closure for Alex and Izzie? Se left him and then came crawling back. He said he knew now he deserves better. She left in tears. Closed.

    • Jen says:

      No I absolutely agree. They had their closure and 6 years later you’re not gonna see much except a “oh you’re remarried by now? That’s great. It took me a while but I found love again too and I wanna marry my girlfriend.” That’s literally IT. Why are people so obsessed with the idea of Izzie coming back? It will be just as pointless as the Cristina/Burke reunion. Except that he offered her a job and I’m pretty sure Izzie’s not gonna do that.

    • EM says:

      You are not the only person. I got closure for Alex and her when he told her in the locker room that he did deserve better but wished her the best. I’d say she hasn’t had closure with Meredith more so. Their end scene had me in tears when she said it was just a job with Meredith pleading with her not to go after she just threw Richard under the bus for Izzie.

      • EM says:

        Forgot to add, Michael go back and re watch. There was definitely closure for Alex in the galley when he said he didn’t forgive her either for not giving him, her husband, the benefit of the doubt. The door slammed when he said in the locker room he was happy for her that she was in remission but that he deserved better and he meant it and believed it and did move on. You want her back….you need a better pitch. Just saying. Oh it pains me very, very, very much to agree with…..the one who shot you down.

    • Tony says:

      I personally wouldn’t mind seeing closure with the character in general. I think all was said and done between her and Alex that needed to be. I would like to know where she is in her life, is she still practicing. I’ll live and still watch if never happens. But would like to see her one more time nonetheless.

  6. Mary says:

    Oh my God Ausiello please just stop it! Stop bringing it up all the time, it’s not gonna happen.. You’re probably annoying Shonda Rhimes even more about this by constantly bringing it up. It’s too late for Izzie to come back and change anything about the show. She’s been gone for 6 years, she has probably moved on and so did Alex. I don’t know why you’re still beating that dead horse. She could’ve returned anywhere till season 9 and I would’ve been ok with it but there’s no way it makes any sense for her now. I don’t get why you want her back so badly anyway. Izzie was an awful, judgemental character. I personally enjoyed the show way better after she was gone. Do you wanna know who I miss? Mark and Lexie and Cristina. The first two are dead but maybe we should talk about how we can get Cristina back. Shonda would probably love to have Sandra back.

  7. SG says:

    Oh Michael, you’re probably the only person who wants her comeback. I hated Izzie by the time she left.

  8. Eric7740 says:

    Sounds like she was a little rude to me. Sorry you had to go through that uncomfortable encounter Mike. I, for one, was with you in thinking that KH should return to GA to give that storyline closure but once again someone who has upset Shonda is either killed or written off her shows. Yes, there have been some that left due to their saying, but if you’re not one of those people, good luck being welcomed back to ShondaLand (I still don’t know how Isisah Washington managed to do it) I honestly think she did that to give Cristina/Sandra a proper send off.

  9. Nitemar says:

    KH did it to herself, or should I say her big a*s ego did!

  10. A.M says:

    THANK YOU SHONDA!! I love that the voice of the masses could not sway her. This is amazing news

  11. spindae2 says:

    Don’t worry Michael! We’ll find a way to make it happen. ;-)
    I mean even reading that Shonda thought and considered it is a surprise and a step in the right direction. When the right moment come she will do it, I don’t worry about that.

  12. Dan says:

    Despite being a fan of Shonda’s shows, I’m constantly amazed at how (it appears) she lets her personal life take over the direction of her shows instead of actually doing what’s right for the storylines of the program (I.e. the VARIOUS feuds she’s had with ppl over the years). Instead of giving fans what they want, or taking the stories in a logical direction, she’d rather be stubborn and make excuses. Maybe it’s time for her to step away from Gre he’s and focus on one of her many other projects.

    • :) says:

      Sometimes tough decisions have to be made for the good of the show. Chuck lorre, Aaron spelling and Dick wolf have had do so in the past. Shows can survive divas and it’s best to shut them down. Orange is the new black has come out and said they have a no diva policy. When divas reign you get things like a cgi bar scene on the good wife. Cut shonda a break. She doesn’t have time for mess

    • Anna says:

      But Alex is so far past Izzie (they divorced like 6 seasons ago) and is in a great place with Jo. Plus, closure of that relationship came when she returned after abandoning her husband and he told her that he deserved better and that she should have given him the benefit of the doubt instead of not even pretending to trust him. Then he bid her farewell. Shonda wrote closure for these characters years ago. Bringing Izzie back wouldn’t be right for any storylines – it would just be random and unnecessary for where Alex is now, and there aren’t really any other stories that need her presence.
      And honestly, when has Shonda let her personal life interfere with logical storytelling? She hasn’t at all – fans just like to complain. People die. People move away. They fall out of touch. Why do fans accept when these things happen in real life but freak out on Shonda Rhimes when she writes them into her shows?

  13. Someone says:

    Yes, move on! It’s getting ridiculous already.

  14. Luis says:

    As I said, the only way Izzy shows up on GA again is with her feet sticking out from underneath a bus

  15. Annabelle says:

    I am so tired of people saying Katherine heigl is awful for what she said about the writing for her character. I stopped watching the show that season because it was so awful. SHE GAVE CPR TO A DEER. Come on.

    • Tapati says:

      I’m with you, her character was destroyed by bad writing.

      • Patrick says:

        Burke was Shonda’s favorite. His character was the one who made the best decisions, or at least agonized the most over bad decisions. 007 and Heigl were the ones who raised the biggest stink about his admittedly hateful slur. If he’d said idiot or dumbass instead of the F-word, he’d still be employed. Shonda (whose portrayal of Homosexuals isn’t fantastic) was largely pressured into firing him. She got even with George almost immediately, and she eventually got Heigl. Shonda couldn’t just write Heigl out, she was too popular and the net wouldn’t go for it (back before Shonda was the biggest power at the network). So Shonda ruined the character, and then let Heigl go after her character’s popularity waned. Rest assured, Shonda got her revenge for the public stink that forced her to get rid of her favorite.

    • :) says:

      I liked the deer cpr. It made me like the character. All the others were depressing but she was optimistic.

      Kh & TR took advantage of the IW situation to make demands. They played a large part in that izzie George storyline. They kept the drama going for months after it died down. Not good for team moral. They are part of why sr has so much control of her shows now. The network left her alone after that mess.

  16. laura says:

    But what about the frozen, fertilized eggs!?!!? even if there is no izzy there are still frozen, fertilized EGGS!!

  17. Whatevah says:

    I never thought I would say this, but THANK YOU SHONDA!

  18. J says:

    I literally don’t understand this obsession with Izzie. Really don’t. She was one of my least favorite characters of the show. I don’t like her at all. I think the fact that Katherine complained about not getting enough material is what always gave Izzie so much screentime but there are so many more interesting characters than her. I’m still not over how she treated Callie and Alex. You know what made Alex and Izzie a special couple? The cancer story. You know what would make ANY couple special? The cancer story. Shonda wasted it on an actress who was just as ungrateful as her chacter and who abandoned the show. It’s been over 5 years already, let’s move on. Not even Justin Chambers wants for Izzie to come back anymore so I honestly don’t get why you have to constantly bring it up.

  19. As much crap I’ve thrown Shonda’s way, I have to thank her for this.

    I prefer Jolex anyways.

  20. ellajwade says:

    And I am so done with Shonda. Her series start out great, then she goes on killing sprees. Not wasting anymore of my time. If I want violence, I watch GOT.

  21. leo21 says:

    Please don’t cite closure for Alex as a reason for Izzie coming back. Alex has complete closure on that relationship and I got closure on the character through him. It was awkward enough last time when they wrapped her up. There is no way to flow her back into things.

    As for Shonda, I couldn’t care less if her reasons for keeping Izzie out is personal or professional. Grey’s and Shonda don’t owe Heigl anything else. I don’t see why they owe her a comeback when she never fully respected the opportunity she had at the time.

  22. N says:

    Thanks, Michael. I’ll never forget the cover article you did on Katherine! I ran all over trying to get
    it. Yep, I still have it! x

  23. thisismenow says:

    In before KH makes a surprise return for May sweeps. (If this happens I will love you forever Michael for pushing the issue for all of us!)

  24. Laverne says:

    When the ratings drop to 5 million and she’s in need for a stunt to boost the ratings, she’ll change her tune.

  25. DarkDefender says:

    I love me some Shonda stories.. But damn that girl can hold a grudge.

  26. Dennis says:

    I’m happy that Heigl doesn’t get a chance to set foot on that set again. For once, THANK YOU SHONDA!

  27. Fido says:

    Maybe if you’d made the pitch holding a puppy and a bunch of flowers you’da gotten further with her. :)

  28. Pamela says:

    I think shonda needs to work on making mcdreamys death and all thats happened since a dream so I can watch the show again.

  29. Fernanda says:

    At least Shonda could write a plot about Alex knowing about Izzie’s death because of her cancer and dealing with her family. That plot would include Jo and maybe a turning point on her relationship with Karev.

    C’mon, Shonda had already killed McDreamy, she could easily kill Izzie without a problem.

    • Someone says:

      Trying to understand why the hell Alex (or anyone on the show for that matter) would have to deal with the death of the ex-wife he hasn’t seen for 6 years and how it could affect his relationship with Jo. Some people are so delusional! Just move on. Shonda has moved on, the show has moved on, Alex has moved on.

  30. Normandy says:

    I wouldn’t want to come back if I were Heigl. Izzie would just get killed off during sweeps, probably along with any other actor who is vocal that season.

  31. Carly Smith says:

    I feel like there was closure for Alex and Izzie, but I’d love for Izzie to comeback and see how much is changed. Has her cancer comeback even stronger? Does she know about the death of Derek, Lexi, and Mark? Does she know about Zola and MerDer’s other children? Does she know that Christina left? I want to know how she is doing. Is she remarried? I she hung up on Denny and Alex still? Is she still a surgeon? With Christina leaving you still know that she knows what’s going on and how she’s doing because of her relationship with Meredith. With Izzie leaving you really have no idea what she did with her life.

  32. Evan says:

    As much as I can understand not wanting to to have anything to do with Heigl after the way she chose to leave the show, the fact that she chose to let a homophobe who actualy caused fights to almost occur on the set get the oppurtunity to have some closure will never sit well with me.

    • Anna says:

      But we did get closure with Izzie – see episode 6×12. Bringing her back would be unnecessary. I imagine the only reason she brought Burke back for closure with Cristina was because Burke abandoned Cristina on their wedding day without any real explanation – Meredith has to tell her that the wedding was off. But Izzie came back in episode 6×12 for that character’s closure.

  33. quina says:

    You should ask her to bring Addison or Teddy back

    • Someone says:

      Yes! Addison should’ve come for Derek’s funeral, after all, she’s still friends with his mother and sisters. And Teddy, I miss her so much! Her time on the show was too short for how amazing she was, I’d love to hear anything about her.

  34. Becky says:

    I think it would have been good.

  35. David says:

    It was worth a try Michael. I am with you, I’d love to see it happen too. I mean if she could bring back Isaiah Washington, for a end to Burke, then a farewell or closure with Izzie you’d think would be possible. So many of the originals are gone, it would be nice just to see her. (Keep pushing for Season 13) lol

  36. sammy says:

    From all the coverage I’ve read about the TCA panel I’ve come up with one thought. I like Shonda Rhime shows but I despise the person. She is a b!tch. So many times during the panel when reporters tried to compliment her, she was like eff u. A better person who smile, say thank you but I really don’t deserve that. Instead she was so moody and terrible.
    I’m fine with no Izzy story line but to me she’s just the worst. Also biggest snafu for ABC: Paul Lee says dereks death was a hard decision. Shonda said it was an easy decision. Did they not compare notes? Shonda needs to become more humble, less defensive and more open to ideas other than her own.

    • aseriesofsneaks says:

      It’s ironic how much Shonda Rhimes dislikes divas when she ‘s turned into a bit of one herself. Still enjoy her shows, but she could stand to be a little more gracious.

  37. G. says:

    Thank you, Shonda.

  38. tvetc says:

    Your katherine heigl campaign is getting irritating already! move on, michael! you are better than this

  39. Anonymously Grey says:

    Katherine Heigl is the best! Haters gonna hate! Not gonna watch Greys season 12.. Done with it ! :)

  40. Ingmar says:

    Izzie was a great character back in the day and I’d welcome any excuse to see her return. While I agree that she had closure with Alex, I think it’s even more important to note that she deserves some closure with Meredith. I used to love that ”casual-like” friendship, but it was broken so suddenly. That, ofcourse, has everything to do with the off-screen drama, but I still hope it gets resolved one day.

    Katherine Heigl wasn’t perfect…but god, Shonda Rhimes deserves some blame too when it comes to this. Izzie was written in a terrible way, starting in S4, so it only makes sense Katherine would make comments about it (I do not agree with the way she made the comments though). Katherine already mentioned she’d regret it and would love to have a chance to make it right and see where Izzie is now….if only Shonda would be able to move on. If only..

  41. LOL says:

    Her stubbornness is ridiculous. I have no respect for show runners who put their own personal hang ups above the quality of the show. Izzie is an important part of the Greys legacy and she deserves closure. Shonda is TVs Taylor Swift, cross her and she’ll plug her fingers in her ears and cut you out forever while passive aggressively making digs at you.

  42. Karl Le says:

    Katherine Heigl makes very situation a volatile. She and her mother ruined a good career.

  43. Annapite says:

    What about bringing back Addison?

  44. aph1976 says:

    I wished Katerine Heigl would come back even if it was just for 2 or so episodes.Plus her return as Izzie doesn’t even have to involve Alex.For example Izzie wherever she’s working has a case and she turns to her old friends at Seattle Grace for help.Of course Izzie might run into Alex but they could just say hello and Izzie could see Alex is happy with Jo and wishes them well.

  45. shutuprob says:

    I have the sneaking suspicion that the very second that Shonda finally hands the showrunning duties for Grey’s over to someone else, ABC will announce that Katherine Heigl will be returning to the show.
    .
    That is, unless/until Shonda treats Heigl with the same consideration she gave Isaiah Washington in bringing him back for an episode. Izzie’s story never was finished and her beating her cancer not only wouldn’t have happened without Derek, the way he did it is *still* immortalized as a picture that Derek once drew on the wall of Meredith’s (now Alex’s) house that is now hanging in the Shepard-Grey homestead *that Meredith shouldn’t sell.*
    .
    I mean, sheesh, there’s no way that Izzie wouldn’t have come back for Derek’s funeral, with her mere presence causing havoc with Alex and Jo, especially considering how similar in looks, temperament and economic class Izzie and Jo are/come from.
    .
    Shonda needs to get over herself and stop being such a Heather toward Hiegl. Heigl was ambushed outside of a business when she was questioned about why she didn’t submit herself for an Emmy and stated that she felt that the writing kept her from doing a worthy performance. That was six freaking years ago. And it was an ambush interview. And the two-year-long storyline that started with George cheating on Callie with Izzie and stretching on through to the Phantom Denny storyline, the first two-thirds of the storyline that culminated in Izzie’s cancer, were, in fact, reviled by both critics and fans alike. Furthermore, even Shonda has stated what Heigl has stated and that Ellen Pompeo has restated — Heigl was torn between the show and her exploding movie career when she re-upped for season six (we’re now on season 12, mind you) and she tried and failed to have it both ways. That Heigl has been paying her dues ever since, doing headliner big screen gigs for as long as the then-current cycle of popularity of big screen romcoms lasted (which wasn’t long, and she was the last big star of them) and then making her way through indies and even then being cast in the short-lived State of Affairs, a Homeland-meets-Scandal hybrid whose fatal problems were solely those of creator/EP Joe Carnahan, who proved so combative, so unwilling to accept the limitations and conventions of the television series format, he went through showrunners like water.
    .
    In short, if Heigl really *were* a “Heigl” (Shonda-speak for Prima Donna or ash-hat), she wouldn’t keep getting gigs at all, much less a TV series. I think it’s clear that, between Ausiello’s campaigning and Pompeo’s occasional remarks in interviews and Shonda’s open hostility to the topic, Shonda *is* or has recently been pressured behind the scenes to bring Heigl back onto the show and she might simply be sick of the question even being asked. But that doesn’t mean that the questioners aren’t right to campaign for Heigl’s return, even if it’s just for the few episodes that *Izzie* deserves to add a non-lethal punctuation mark to her storyline. That the campaign to bring Heigl back seems to be getting to Shonda strongly suggests to me that Shonda doesn’t want to admit that the campaigners are right — about both the need for non-lethal closure to Izzie’s storyline and the need for Shonda to recognize that Heigl *deserves* to be trusted with — has earned the right to be trusted with — returning to the show.

    • RealityBites says:

      Heigel’s ego let her to shoot her mouth off about her employer and her co-workers to the Los Angeles Times. She wasn’t ambushed – when you make a very public gesture such a deliberately not submitting your name for consideration, it’s a no-brainer that she was going to be asked about it. The fact that she had a “statement” all ready to go when asked pretty much shows she knew exactly what she was doing. So there’s no oh poor widdle Heigel here. there’s no ambush. GA is a soap opera, entertaining yes, but no one was EVER going to confuse the caliber of writing with that of say, breaking bad. And so instead of being grateful that anyone even noticed her work in a crappy soap, she decided to badmouth her co-workers with public actions and statements.

      Heigel is just a good old fashioned egoist who bit the hand that feed her and few employers would be forgiving. It would be one thing if she was actually a box office draw as the ability to make money overcomes a lot of personality disorders. But clearly she isn’t and her biggest mistake was in thinking her appeal was such that her behavior would all be glossed over because of her clout. She was wrong; she’s got no clout.

  46. Kiki says:

    If she can convince someone to gamble on her (and that is a GIGANTIC if), Heigl needs to shut up, find a Monster’s Ball-esque type script, make it for as little money as possible and stand behind her costars silently with a supportive smile on her face on the festival circuit. Oh and ALL of this should be done without the “aid” of her mother. If it works, she stands a chance at an actual career instead of project here or there and, quite possibly saying no to Rhimes instead of the other way around.

  47. LaurenMC says:

    Of course Shonda said no – she doesn’t care what fans want.

  48. RoseK says:

    As much as I loved Izzie, the only closure I want from the Alex/Izzie storyline is the whole frozen fertilized eggs. That really needs to be adressed and it can be without bringing KH back.

  49. Karin says:

    I’m glad. Can’t stand Katherine Heigle.

  50. Ned says:

    I miss George, Izzie and Mc Dreamy. Only Merideth and two lesbians left…..I probably won’t watch next season.