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Katherine Heigl Deathwatch Gets Downright Kooky on Grey’s Anatomy

Quick, someone hide the pottery wheel!

While NBC’s markedly disastrous fall season has born the brunt of criticism from the media and fans alike, it’s becoming harder and harder to ignore the rampantly weird goings-on at Seattle Grace Hospital. After a summer in which Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl ruffled all sorts of feathers by withdrawing her name from consideration for the 2008 Emmy race, many (including Vulture) hoped that show creator Shonda Rhimes would begin scheming a way to kill Heigl’s character off. Well, in a twist that would even have the creators of the dearly departed Passions raising a curious eyebrow, this season has seen Heigl’s Dr. Isobel “Izzie” Stevens having a protracted love affair with — wait for it — her dead fiancé! Yes, you read that right, ABC’s flagship prime-time vehicle now features a leading character having sex with a ghost. Ben Silverman is gonna be so jealous!

Over the course of the last few weeks, die-hard fans of the show have been theorizing that these spectral booty calls are the result of a brain tumor being suffered by Izzie, a charge that Shonda Rhimes emphatically denied in an interview with Entertainment Weekly scoopmeister Michael Ausiello last week:

“I can’t wait for our viewers to see where we’re taking [this story],” responds Rhimes. “But what it won’t involve is Izzie having a brain tumor.”

Except, well, she sorta wasn’t telling the truth. In an updated interview with Ausiello yesterday (where does he get such wonderful scoops?) that could be considered kinda spoilerish for series viewers, Rhimes explains that it’s not a tumor, per se, but more of an aneurysm. Technicalities! But still, this plot development seems to be turning off both longtime fans and the suits who foot the bill; to wit, one anonymous ABC exec was quoted as saying “It’s definitely an unorthodox vision … [but] if we interfere, we get blamed for messing with someone’s creative vision. If we don’t do anything, we get blamed for the backlash. You really can’t win.” Translation? Vulture’s suggestion that Izzie should be stricken down by a random meteorite would’ve been a more likely (and certainly more fun!) way for Katherine Heigl to complete what’s sure to be her last season on Grey’s.

’Grey’s Anatomy’ Exclusive: Izzie/Denny ghost story twist revealed! [Ausiello Files/EW]

Katherine Heigl Deathwatch Gets Downright Kooky on Grey’s Anatomy