When ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ started (back in 2005), we fell in love with those medical students who came to work at Seattle Grace Hospital, oblivious to all the drama that lay ahead. Although we have been faithful to Meredith and miss Cristina, there were many of us who had a crush on Izzie Stevens, the character of Katherine Heigl. The actress went on to win an Emmy in 2007 for that role, which made her the new aspiring “girlfriend of America.” But things went wrong along the way and a supposed battle of egos ended his departure in season six.
Krista Vernoff, the current showrunner of the series, has given a series of interviews recently in the wake of the season 17 premiere in the United States (with a … surprising start), and told the Los Angeles Times that there were plans to fire Izzie in 2007 with an episode dedicated to her and that the actress did not want.
This is how he explained it: “We had planned for him to come back for an episode to properly close the plot of Izzie and Alex (Karev, the character of Justin Chambers). I wrote that episode, and it was beautiful. The day before we started preparing or shooting it, I don’t remember, we got a call that Katie wasn’t coming. It just wasn’t going to come. I was not going to do it. My job became to stay up all night for multiple nights and reimagine a script that didn’t include Izzie. And for years and years and years and years and years, the fans yelled at us ‘How could you!’ Well that’s the story behind the scenes. That’s what happened. I’m not saying this to criticize Katie. I don’t know what was going on in his life. I don’t know what led him to that decision. All I know is that the night before something completely focused on a character and closing his story started filming, I got a call that he wasn’t coming.. That’s what it means to be a television writer and producer. So yeah, would I have liked to go back and do it differently? Of course”.
Katherine Heigl remembers it differently
However, Entertainment Weekly has the other side of the story. Sources close to Heigl responded to the showrunner saying: “That story is not true. Krista is wrong. Katherine was in Los Angeles on maternity leave (when she adopted her daughter) waiting to be called from the shoot“.
A new drama adds to the long history of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. The series has returned after a long hiatus due to the coronavirus, but the first episode of the new season has had everything, from the pandemic itself to an unexpected return, which has not been just for a cameo. We have seen Katherine Heigl recently in ‘Suits: The key to success’ and will be part of ‘Firefly Lane’, a new Netflix series.