June 19, 2009 / 2:29 AM / 10 years ago

Katherine Heigl returning to "Grey's Anatomy"

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It has been a real-life cliffhanger bigger than the one faced by her character Izzie in the season finale of “Grey’s Anatomy”: Will co-star Katherine Heigl return to “Grey’s” next season?

Actress Katherine Heigl poses at the premiere of the movie "Marley & Me" at the Mann Village theatre in Westwood, California December 11, 2008. The movie opens in the U.S. on December 25. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Sources have said that Heigl’s option on the medical drama has been picked up, meaning that she will continue on the show.

The news comes soon after word leaked that Heigl’s pal on the show, T.R. Knight, won’t return next season.

ABC would not confirm any casting decisions for its flagship drama series.

The lives of Heigl’s and Knight’s characters were left hanging in the balance in the “Grey’s” season finale last month.

Izzie, diagnosed with stage IV metastatic cancer in the brain and liver, underwent successful brain surgery but lost her short-term memory and flat-lined during the last minutes of the finale.

Knight’s character, Dr. George O’Malley, was hit by a bus.

Heigl has had a somewhat rocky tenure on “Grey’s.”

The series made her a household name, earned her an Emmy in 2007 and launched her movie career. But tensions began to creep in, escalating in the summer when Heigl pulled herself out of Emmy consideration, attributing her decision to a lack of good stories for her character.

She also had been rumored to have lobbied for a release from the show to focus on her movie career.

But that was a year ago. This past season, the story line concerning Izzie’s illness was central to the show’s creative comeback. And Heigl has said publicly that she wants to continue on the show.

Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters

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