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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 11: Writers at work, Shonda Rhimes nixes Izzie return

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 11: Writers at work, Shonda Rhimes nixes Izzie return
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 11: Writers at work, Shonda Rhimes nixes Izzie returnPhoto by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

“Grey’s Anatomy” will kick off its eleventh season this fall and that is no small thing. It is, along with many other dramas, a series featuring 24 hour-long episodes each season. That is a lot of time to fill and, according to Matt Carter on May 31, the writers are already back at work.

There is a lot of detail to contend with. “Grey’s Anatomy” is a huge ensemble production with numerous and complex storylines unfolding each week. Right now the goal is to brain storm more ‘big picture’ types of ideas and then those get refined into eventual scripts.

In the upcoming season, fans will be excited to watch April’s pregnancy progress and see how she and Jackson adapt to parenthood. Callie and Arizona are also looking into renewed parenthood and after the rough couple of years they’ve had, who could begrudge them a bit of happiness.

Meredith will be facing 2 serious and life-changing situations. Her BFF, Cristina Yang, has moved to Zurich and for all intents and purposes, their person-hood has come to an end. She will need to find a new ‘person’ she can turn to and confide in. That will be more important than ever as she has refused to go with Derek to Washington D.C. for his job. Will her family split up? Will they attempt a long-distance relationship? This will be intense. Amelia Shepherd is a good bet to fill the Cristina gap. Caterina Scorsone’s return to the series has not yet been confirmed however.

Let’s not forget the most shocking cliffhanger of all that the writers must develop in the coming weeks...the announcement of Dr. Richard’s Webber’s biological daughter and Meredith’s half-sister, the new cardiac surgeon. The writers certainly have full plates to start with.

After the successful, albeit short return of Isaiah Washington as Dr. Preston Burke, fans have wondered if showrunner Shonda Rhimes would bring back another fan favorite, Izzie Stevens. Katherine Heigl made many vocal pleas to return to the show prior to getting the gig over at NBC for the upcoming “State of Affairs.” Rhimes did nothing about those pleas. When a fan on Twitter talked about Izzie returning and asked that Shonda "better not disappoint" her (or him), the executive producer replied, "I totally won't. Um. Because she's probably not coming back," according to Wetpaint.

Heigl was very vocal in her criticism of the show and of Rhimes back when she opted to leave the series. Could that be a factor in Rhimes’ decision to “probably” not bring her back? Or is there just no storyline for Izzie right now? Looks like that is one story the writers won’t be working on for now.

“Grey’s Anatomy returns to ABC in the fall. Premiere dates are not yet available.