Exclusive: 'Grey's Anatomy' boss vetoes controversial Alex/Izzie plot

greys-anatomy-heigl-chambersImage Credit: Michael Desmond/ABCIt appears Izzie Stevens has cheated death once more.

In an effort to give Alex/Izzie fans some closure in the wake of Katherine Heigl’s abrupt departure last spring, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes contemplated bringing their love story to a tragic end this season. She stops short of saying cancer survivor Izzie would’ve died off screen, but — keep reading and do the math.

“We discussed a lot of options, and the one we settled on felt like the [best idea] without having Izzie actually there,” she explains. “But it also felt like the cruelest possible thing.”

Ultimately, Rhimes couldn’t go through with it. “It was ready to go, but then I went home and literally couldn’t sleep,” she recalls. “It just felt so mean. It wasn’t closure; it just felt brutal. Alex might have never recovered from it. And the audience who loved Izzie would’ve been devastated. So we didn’t do it.”

What now? “I’m open to seeing Izzie again,” she says. “So if [Katherine] were to come back, we would be thrilled to [wrap up her story]. But if she doesn’t, we’ll just move on.”

Thoughts? Do you think Rhimes made the right call? Are you holding out hope for Izzie’s return? Hit the comments!

Comments (259 total) Add your comment
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  • Seriously

    BRING IZZIE BACK!!!!!!!!

    • Nikki

      I would like to see her come back , but if she’s busy do other things with her career , totally exceptable :-) GO IZZIE ! :-)

    • R.


      • Maria

        They have to keep talking about Izzie / Katherine because its the only thing that get the show any press these days lets be honest.

      • TJ

        Face it, it’s time to kill off the whole show. It’s run its course. Now it’s like Dawson’s Creek, M.D.

    • nodnarb

      AND DEAD DENNY TOO!!!!!!

      • JB

        Agreed. But not on this show. On Supernatural.

      • graciie

        OH YES… DADDY WINCHESTER. agree with DRayche below as well, the ghost denny was kinda horrid although it all made a little more sense in the end.

    • DRayche

      did you really like her laying on the bathroom floor for 3 days because someone she knew for 3 weeks died? And give me a break the whole Denny’s ghost thing was terrible to watch…

      • tom

        yes! that when i fell in love with grey’s

      • DennyHater

        I TOTALLY agree. I absolutely HATED the entire Denny story arc. Horrible. Just horrible. Ever since then, I’ve had a serious distaste for Izze.

      • iz he

        The whole show is painful…

    • Sam

      If only Katherine would commit to even doing 1 or 2 episodes to give the character some closure. It would be the best thing and she would have more fans by getting back those she angered by leaving abruptly. Izzie, come back and get a proper send off.

    • Butter

      Kill her already!

      • Liz

        Agreed! I was under the impression that her cancer was so severe that even if she did survive treatment it wouldn’t be for long. I say kill the character off screen and let it go. Grey’s has been much much better without her.

      • brooklynroxie

        Agreed. Get rid of her already!

    • matt

      It sounds like Izzie was gonna commit suicide off-screen or something.

    • Meli

      I’m glad Izzie’s gone – let her come back and get hit by a Mack truck.

    • Tamika Jordan

      I would like tosee Izzie back, but if not let that character go so the audience can also let her go and not always think of what if

    • natalie b

      Why bring Izzy back? The show is dying a slow death as it is. I used to love Thursday nights not anymore… It has become painful to watch…

  • Couchtime With Jill

    I like Katherine Heigl (though I know a lot of others don’t) and would be dsappointed to hear Izzie died off screen. I’d like her to come back for a series finale or something.

    • tvfan

      I love Izzie and would have felt cheated if she died without a chance to let Alex have resolution.

    • Rosa

      Grey’s really made her who she is. KH was Izzy. But she’s been gone for so long that who even thinks about her anymore? I loved who Alex was when he was with Izzy, but he’s more than that. He’s moved on with his career, and with being shot. I don’t have a problem with them not bringing Izzy up ever again.

      • jillbeme

        I agree with you, it’s not about Izzy anymore, Karev is growing into a mature high functioning doctor now. It’s time to let him move on, maybe a farewell to Izzy just to put it to rest.

      • cbcbcb

        I agree, it would get too messy with Izzy again, Alex is finally looking professional…maybe introduce her demise in a look back episode or something…

  • RyanT

    There were people who loved Izzie? Who? KILL HER OFF.

    • Allan EekHart

      I loved her since she was hot. Bring back the hottie!

      • mikke

        I agree we need more sexy izzie

    • hmm

      ok, not gonna lie, she bugged the crap outta me but i only care about karev..he loved her so much. :[ he deserves some real closure.

      • SaraJ


  • Amber

    I would love to see Izzie back tomorrow! I’m very glad they didn’t kill her off and I’d love to see her and Alex back together.

  • Kyle

    I wish she’d come back just to end the story… although I’m over her since she’s been really unprofessional about the whole situation.

    • Maria

      How was she unprofessional? She wasnt at all. She wanted to leave to spend more time with her family. She agreed that with ABC. How come she is unprofessional but everyone else who leaves a show earlier isnt? Whatever. Get over your hate. ABC are self serving anyway look how they treated the actress who was Hahn etc. Just booted them out. Talk about unprofessional there.

      • Adele

        she was unprofessional the way she talked about long 16 hour work days and saying that the writers didn’t give her quality material when asked why she wasn’t submitting her name to the Emmys (I think it was the Emmys). It wasn’t the way she left the show, it was the way she acted when she was on it.

        I do agree with you about Hahn, and they didn’t exactly make TR Knight feel welcome either, but I’m no fan of Izzie/K.H. so I’m not sad to not see her weekly.

      • Meredith

        Adele- well said and fully agreed.

      • JW

        When you are saving a DEER in the hospital parking lot (or whereever that was)… I would say, that is about as poor material as it gets. I always felt Heigl was generally right. Funny how easy it is for people to hate and how hard it is for them to imagine life in another person’s shoes. If you have ANYTHING else you want to do with your time, especially fmily, long work days get old very fast.

      • Gretchen

        @JW- that’s how acting works!! You work long days for a few months then get the rest off to do whatever you want. If she didn’t want to work long days, DON’T BE AN ACTRESS! She’s not that great at it anyway (see: every review of any movie she’s done except ‘Knocked Up’, yet another job she bitched about)

      • Pete

        She went on a string of talk shows bashing the producers for making her work a 17 hour work day that she caused. The most controversial was on Letterman which she appears on several times. She also told them that she wanted to leave at the end of season 5 and when she heard about what was going to happen to Izzie, she changed her mind. She then asked a great deal of time off from the show for season 6 to film a movie and spend time with her family. So her appearance on season 6 was more like a recurring guest role. She was supposed to return for the end and stay on until her contract ended this year, but ultimately bailed right when she was supposed to appear on the show. That was disrespectful to what the show stands for. Still she is yet to show any respect to the show and the majority of the cast members are so mad with her.

        Even Shonda Rhimes has been corresponding with fans on twitter saying she always planned on Alex and Izzie staying together and feels upset that Katherine won’t return.

  • jen

    She sucked the life out of the show. early on, they did a great job of portraying the postive aspects of her character to counterbalance the other crap, but as time went on she just got worse and worse. and I do actually think this was the writers’ doing, not KH. It got so that every time she was on screen it was just one selfish and self-centered thing after another, compounded by constant self-righteous speeches to the others.

    • wooster182

      EXACTLY! She used to be my favorite character. By S3, she was becoming progressively worse. After she fell in love with George, she was absolutely unbearable. I literally sighed a breath of relief when I knew she wasn’t going to be in every episode last season. She was too exhausting to watch.

    • Snsetblaze

      My sentiments exactly. The actress aside, the character became annoying. I feel the show has improved greatly since she left. While she’s not that great of an actress overall (she does similar light movie roles over and over), I do applaud the actress herself for standing up for TR Knight (who I do miss on the show). I also did agree that at times the writers gave her terrible material (remember the deer) but at other times pretty good material. But her character ran its course and then some.

    • OluK

      Thank you! She totally drove me crazy with al her drama! And those speeches….like the 1 she gave Owen about using pigs, and she got Alex totally confused.
      Remember George, and the way she cried about not shaving her legs after promising him a hot bout of sex? And the whole DennyIzzie love was a lil too much for me…I mean, cutting off his lvad??? I know she was trying to help, but I don’t like overly emotional people and she was just full of it. I hope they totally kill off her part by sending Alex divorce papers via courier. He signs in a haze of confusion and rage, gets drunk, and sleeps with a totally inappropriate person (not Reed, please)

      • OluK

        I forgot he already signed them,then why r we still talking about Izzie?

      • mimi


  • Rosemary

    No more Izzie. Please.

  • bigtvfan

    sounds like she’s alll but saying Katherine come back an d we’ll wrapm up your story in a really ncie way. If Katherine can’t come back to the show that mder her a star and won her an Emmy for an ep or 2 when people like Matt Damon can give up time to play on 30 Rock, well then I just dont understand what her mea culpa to EW was really about

  • colm

    I think that Izzie is gone, Katherine Heigl has made her choice and any fluctuations that has on the overall writing and SL is on her and not Shonda or the writers, I think he faster we put her to rest to better

  • jake

    she should come back.

  • McGrey

    Omfg, i don’t even know how to react

  • tanya

    Kill her off!!! And then give Alex a gf(actor) who doesn’t think she is too good for tv!!

    • Maria

      She doesn’t think she is too good for TV. She wanted to spend more time with her family. Like now for example – when she will be with her daughter from October to her new movie in Spring next year. She couldnt have done that on Grey’s.

      • Julie

        Oh, honey… KH asked to be released from her GA contract long before she had even adopted her daughter (she admitted as much to Ausiello earlier this year). She wanted to be able to do whatever movies she wanted when she wanted and that’s why she left. Saying it was to spend time with her family was KH’s way of trying to whitewash the situation.

      • kate

        She’s like SMG and Jen Aniston. “I’m too good for TV so I’m going to do a bunch of cookie cutter rom-coms that no one wants to see because I’m better than all of you. Wait, what do you mean that I’m no longer relevent? That I should be grateful anytime a gossip mag wants to print a picture of me as it reminds people I’m alive. Gosh that’s so harsh. I only ever spoke the truth when I said I hated my fans and the show and television in general. Why are people so mean?”

      • Tarc

        Actually, she wanted out of a hostile work environment – as others on the cast have alluded to. Even the conservative Pompeo has said that she thinks she won’t renew her contract (Dempsey said the same thing) – hence the rather constant influx of new people. I certianly could not deal with the two-faced Rimes.

      • Pete

        Let’s face it if she didn’t get lucky with replacing Anne Hathaway in Knocked Up, she would still be on the show.

  • kristy

    Who are these people that loved Izzie? She was the absolute worst.

    • McGrey

      Hah, agree.
      who loved izzie? only people like herself, i guess

      • Kelly

        I thought she was the best thing about the show. Not watched since she left.

      • Tarc

        Heigl, Dempsey, and Sandra Oh were the three actors that kept me watching. I find it amsuing how jealous so many of the women on this site are of Heigl.

      • Liz

        I LOVE that whenever someone says that they dislike people like KH it’s because they are “jealous” yes, Tarc, I’m jealous of that narcissist. I wish I could spend all day thinking only of myself and escaping any situation where I’m not the center of attention.

      • WTF

        booohooo LIZ everyone on this site and on this planet is thinking about him/herself first!! It’s human nature to think about yourself first! Grey’s anatomy is not a good show and if she wanted to leave and make movies it’s her damn fucking right to do this!

  • Ruby

    They don’t need to provide any closure…it’s fine how it is and closure doesn’t always happen in life anyway. Just let it go.

    • Alia

      I agree with this. Let Alex sign the divorce papers and move on; there’s no realistic reason for her to reappear at Seattle Grace.

      • Mj

        He already signed papers last season. Before the shooting and when he “officially” started dating Lexie. And you call yourself a fan.

    • Lisa

      @Ruby… I agree. I forgot about Izzie LONG ago. Leave her be.

  • Alicia

    I’m not a fan of Izzie but I agree. To kill her offscreen would have been to cruel. It wouldn’t have brought any closure to Alex not to the fans that supported her and them together. I think the Izzie story has wrapped itself up and its time to move on.

    • Lenie

      I loved Alex and Izzie together. How he broke down for her was just so devastatingly romantic. She was selfish to just write a letter, leave without letting Alex know of anything, and then comeback, expecting for everything to be back to normal. So I don’t blame Alex. However, obviously he is still in love her which was revealed in Season 6. So I hope the type closure they have is, to realize that they were meant for each other because noone ever really filled that void. At least for the Season Finale. It would be complicated right now seeing as there are new characters and stories.

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