Katherine Heigl Katherine Heigl

The new season of Grey's Anatomy will feature more character-centric episodes, but less Katherine Heigl, TVGuide.com has confirmed.

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Izzie's departure, which was first reported by Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello, will be explained on-screen, and a source tells TVGuide.com it will involve her being fired after Seattle Grace merges with rival hospital Mercy West. Her temporary exit will begin in November and will overlap with fellow cast member Ellen Pompeo's maternity leave. With regular cast member T.R. Knight not returning, won't the hospital halls feel awfully empty?

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