Don't expect to see Izzie Stevens performing surgery at Seattle Grace anytime soon. The "Grey's Anatomy" character, played by actress Katherine Heigl, has most certainly hung up her scrubs for good.
On Sunday's episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter," Hollywood heavy hitter Shonda Rhimes -- the mastermind behind "Grey's" and the ABC hits "Private Practice" and "Scandal" -- sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a rare interview to talk about some of the things she's learned along her road to success. And when Oprah brought up the 2008 Emmy controversy in which Heigl famously withdrew her name from consideration because she felt the "Grey's" writing wasn't up to snuff, Rhimes spewed a few words of wisdom on the subject.
"On some level it stung, and on some level I was not surprised," Rhimes said. "When people show you who they are, believe them."
Rhimes' sentiment is one that Oprah has repeated often (it's one of the 20 things she knows for sure) and comes straight from poet Maya Angelou. But in the context of the TV writer's conversation with Oprah, it was a clear diss to her popular show's former star, who abruptly exited the show in early 2010.
Just two years ago, Rhimes seemed receptive to the possibility of Heigl's eventual return to the show. In October 2010, she told Entertainment Weekly that she stopped short of killing off the actress' character because she was "open to seeing Izzie again."
"If [Katherine] were to come back, we would be thrilled to [wrap up her storyline]. But if she doesn't, we'll just move on," Rhimes said.
And move on they did. While the subsequent seasons of "Grey's" has showcased the characters' highs and lows, many of the series' original characters are long gone. (Most notably McSteamy, played by Eric Dane, who was killed off in a plane crash this season.)
But earlier this year, Heigl told E! Online, "I really, really, really want to see where [Izzie] is. I just want to know what happened to her and where she went and what she's doing now. My idea is that she actually figures it out, and finds some success and does really well in a different hospital." (Can you smell a spinoff?)
Rhimes' response: "I think it was really nice to hear her appreciating the show. At the same time we are on a track we have been planning. The idea of changing that track is not something we are interested in right now."
With that subject nipped in the bud, Rhimes also talked to Oprah about living her dream. The single mom of two (Harper, 10, and baby daughter, Emerson) showed off her kids' posh "offices" on the "Scandal" set and dished on having the best of both worlds.
"I think I'm most proud of the fact that I have figured out how to exist as both a creative person and artist, and a businesswoman and manager," she said. "For a long time, I really had a hard time with the idea that I was supposed to be this person who lived inside her head and created things but also managed a bunch of people and had to lead a group of people. And those two things have sort of come together, and I'm really proud of how that works now."
"Oprah's Next Chapter" airs on Sunday night at 9:00 PM ET on OWN.
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