T.R. Knight, <I>Grey's Anatomy</i> T.R. Knight, Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes is nipping in the bud talk that the role of George — who last was seen barely alive after being mauled, mangled and mashed in a bus accident — will be recast with a new actor. 

"A hilarious, ridiculous rumor" is how Rhimes, via Twitter, qualified the speculation.

Getting someone new to play a surgically made-over George would conveniently pave the way for T.R. Knight to vacate the role and exit the ABC serial, as has been rumored for many, many months. The increasingly dusty buzz has been that Knight's disenchantment with his Season 5 storylines begat his conspicuously decreased screen time... which, in turn, is said to have disenchanted Knight even further.

Now, E! Online is reporting that Knight just this week negotiated his departure from Grey's — a neat trick, seeing as he's still on contract through Season 6, if needed. "That story is utterly false," one well-placed source tells TVGuide.com. "Nothing at all has changed in T.R.'s status." A second industry insider deems the aforementioned blog posting as "total B.S."

Rhimes herself recently told EW.com, "There have been lots of rumors about T.R., but T.R.'s never said anything. Take from it what you will."

ABC entertainment boss Stephen McPherson also has weighed in on the uncertain future of Knight's character, as well as Katherine Heigl's ailing Izzie.

"They've both signed on [for next season]," he told reporters at ABC's upfront. "I can't say whether or not they'll both be there."

Reps for ABC and Knight declined to comment for this story.

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