Katherine Heigl Katherine Heigl

After leaving Grey's Anatomy amidst controversy in 2010, Katherine Heigl is returning to network television this fall playing a CIA analyst who advises the president in NBC's political drama State of Affairs

In the years since checking out of Seattle Grace for good, Heigl has had some big-screen hits (Knocked Up, 27 Dresses) and more than a few misses (The Ugly Truth, KillersLife As We Know It, One for the Money). So why is she returning to TV now? More to the point, does she regret leaving Grey's Anatomy?

"I made a difficult decision, but it was the right decision for me at the time," Heigl told TVGuide.com at the network's fall TV previews on Sunday. "I really just wanted to spend more time with my family and my new baby and extend my family and I'm really grateful to have been able to do that and I'm very grateful for these last couple of years."

What about those pesky rumors that Heigl's film career fizzled because she and her "momager" Nancy are difficult to work with? The stories have persisted since she pulled her name from Emmy consideration in 2008, blaming the Grey's writers for inferior material. "I can only say that I certainly don't see myself as being difficult," she said. "I would never intend to be difficult. I don't think my mother [who is also an executive producer on State of Affairs] sees herself as being difficult. It's important for everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly. So if I have ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional."

"People want to know why this show, why come back to television?" she continued. "Because it's an extraordinary role, it's an extraordinary opportunity and it's an extraordinary story and it's an opportunity for me to flex some different muscles and show a different side of myself as an actor, performer and storyteller that I hope audiences will be excited about and love."

Do you think Heigl made a mistake by leaving Grey's Anatomy? And will you be watching State of Affairs?

Additional reporting by Robyn Ross