Does Katherine Heigl’s Long Leave From “Grey’s Anatomy” Mean She’ll Soon Be Off The Show For Good?

Katherine Heigl, who you may remember bad-mouthed her employers on “Letterman” earlier this summer when she complained about doing 17-hour work days on the set of “Grey’s Anatomy,” will be taking a five-episode hiatus from the show this season. Might the hiatus be related to her late-night comment? Well, higher-ups certainly weren’t happy with her behavior. During the Television Critics Association summer press tour, ABC President Stephen McPherson said this about Heigl’s comments: “I think it’s unfortunate. It’s not something I think you want to let consume you or your people because it is what it is. People are going to behave in the way they choose to behave.” Heigl also made waves last year when she withdrew her name from Emmy consideration because she didn’t feel the material she worked with deserved an award. So is this sudden five-episode hiatus a way for the show’s creators to transition Heigl off without making a big to-do?Naturally, everyone’s letting it seem like the hiatus is Heigl’s idea. She supposedly requested leave to film a romantic comedy called ““Life As We Know It,” which is about a woman who inherits two kids from friends who die in an accident (sounds both romantic and comedic, doesn’t it?). But if any of you out there still watch “Grey’s Anatomy,” you know that Heigl’s character has been undergoing treatment for a progressive cancer and when last season ended, her fate — as well as Heigl’s fate on the show — was very much up in the air. Oh, and three new doctors are set to join the crew at Seattle Grace this year. Izzie, watch your back! [via LATimesBlogs and NYMag]