The Ausiello Files: February 20, 2008 | EW.com

TV

The Ausiello Files: February 20, 2008

EW's TV scooper tells us about Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight's possible ''Grey's'' exit, an ''Ugly Betty'' teaser, and more

Mass exodus at Seattle Grace?

Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight appear likely to receive their Get Out of Grey’s Free cards. Although ABC declined to comment, sources confirm that the disgruntled costars will probably get their wish and be let out of their contracts by season’s end. ”It’s in the hands of their agents and ABC’s lawyers now,” explains an insider. ”It’s a safe bet that Katherine and T.R. won’t be [back] as series regulars next season.”

If the rumor mill is to be believed, Heigl has been eager to wiggle her way out of her Grey’s pact for the better part of the past two years. (She’s a movie star, people!) Meanwhile, Knight, frustrated by his lack of story line, asked to be released from his contract last fall.

One possible wrinkle that may be delaying an official announcement: Grey’s boss Shonda Rhimes may want Heigl and Knight to briefly reprise their roles next season. ”There’s talk of one or both of them doing an arc in the fall,” whispers a Grey’s source. ”That’s one of several things being discussed.”

How might the pair be written out? Izzie’s exit appears to be a no-brainer (pardon the pun): A recent episode hinted that the seeing-and-having-sex-with-dead-people doc has a cancerlike disease. And George? One considered plotline had him intrigued by the past of former Army doc Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) — hey, perhaps George could enlist and head off to Iraq? But an ABC insider says the military idea has since been replaced with ”a different, even better story.”

ASK AUSIELLO

Q: Anything good coming up on Ugly Betty that you can tease?Sandra
A: Unfortunately, I know nothing. Fortunately, my Ugly mole knows lots! ”Someone will get married, someone will die, and Betty will find herself with a surprising new boss,” teases my snitch, who cautions that the show’s open-ended hiatus after the March 20 episode may push some of these events into fall. And yes, Betty will be back in the fall. At press time, ABC was on the verge of renewing the comedy for a fourth season.

Q: I really need a Fringe scoop! I mean really need one.Bryan
A: You know Olivia’s MIA stepfather? The evil guy who leaves her creepy birthday cards every year? Well, we’re ”most likely” going to meet him in the flesh before the end of the season, confirms executive producer J.J. Abrams. ”It’s a huge story,” he says, ”and I don’t want to rush it.” Abrams wouldn’t tell me who’s on his short list to play the baddie, but I’d suggest Alan Thicke. What, no? Fine, we’ll go with who J.J. chooses.

Q: If Friday Night Lights gets picked up for a fourth season, who among the cast will return?Thomas
A: The only locks are the core Taylors (Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden) and left-behind junior Landry (Jesse Plemons). Beyond that, no decisions have been made, insists executive producer Jason Katims. ”It’s a phenomenal cast,” he says. ”It’s not easy for me to say I’m willing to let go of any of them.”