Katherine Heigl is eyeing a return to television, three years after her departure from “Grey’s Anatomy.” The 34-year-old actress, who played Dr. Izzie Stevens on the hit ABC series, will star in a new as-yet-untitled show, according to USA Today. The project is currently in the early stages of development, but networks such as NBC have expressed interest.
In addition to starring in the proposed show, Heigl will reportedly serve as a producer behind the scenes. Alexi Hawley, whose credits include ABC’s “Body of Proof” and “Castle,” will be the writer, leading USA Today to speculate the series will be a crime procedural drama.
Heigl first gained attention starring in the WB/UPN series “Roswell” from 1999 to 2002. She subsequently shot to worldwide fame with a principal role on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Heigl was an original cast member, appearing on the show from 2005 until midway through the show’s sixth season in 2010. She left the series to spend more time with her family, allegedly.
In addition to her television work, Heigl has been featured in many films during the past several years. While still on “Grey’s Anatomy,” she starred in “Knocked Up,” “27 Dresses” and “The Ugly Truth.”
However, her post-“Grey’s Anatomy” movie career hasn’t fared as well. Movies such as “Killers,” “Life as We Know It,” “One for the Money” and “The Big Wedding” all failed to deliver at the box office, which could be the reason Heigl wants to return to her television roots.
As USA Today pointed out, Heigl expressed interest last year in reprising her role on “Grey’s Anatomy,” but the character has yet to return. Heigl reportedly angered series creator Shonda Rhimes and the writing staff when she withdrew her name from Emmy Awards consideration in 2008, publicly saying she was not "given the material to warrant an Emmy nomination.”
Rhimes was asked about that quote in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last December. “On some level it stung, and on some level I was not surprised,” she said, according to Us Weekly. “When people show you who they are, believe them. I carry that with me a lot. It has served me well.” Rhimes added there were no plans to bring back Heigl’s character.
Heigl’s new series is planned to premiere during the 2014-15 season, according to USA Today.