'Grey's Anatomy' Casting News: Is Katherine Heigl Coming Back To Replace Ellen Pompeo After Season 12?

Although Katherine Heigl's days on Grey's Anatomy are long gone, the actress still watches the show and feels a connection with the hit medical drama. In fact, Heigl recently stated that she understood just how fans felt following the tragic death of Dr. Derek Shepherd.

According to ET Online, Heigl stated that she was "devastated" after she witnessed Derek's untimely death on the show. She added that "I just can't imagine the show without McDreamy," and that a show without Patrick Dempsey was "just so hard to picture."

Heigl's comments and sentiments regarding the show left some fans wondering about a possible return for her character in the coming season. Heigl played Dr. Izzie Stevens on the show for a total of five years, and was last seen leaving Seattle in Season 6.

In addition to the speculation that Heigl might reprise her role on the show, other rumors have surfaced that Ellen Pompeo might be ready to call it quits. Given Derek's departure last season, it is possible that Meredith's storyline could be reaching a conclusion soon.

As previously reported by Inquisitr, Pompeo has been waiting for the perfect time to exit the show, and Derek's death provided just that. The website went on to speculate that Shonda Rhimes will use Meredith's battle with Alzheimer's as a way to end the characters run in the series.

However, Rhimes has not directly addressed the issue. Instead, the series creator simply stated that the new season will offer endless possibilities.

"Now, Meredith and the entire Grey's Anatomy family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life," Rhimes explained in a statement with Time. "The possibilities for what may come are endless."

In the meantime, Heigl has come out and dismissed the rumors by stating there wasn't any truth to the idea that she would return to Grey's Anatomy any time soon. Although fans may still hold out hope that Heigl will return to the show, it is apparent that the actress still gets plenty of love from fans.

"This 13-year-old girl was telling me this weekend how much she loves Grey's Anatomy, and I was like, do you realize you were a 1-year-old when we started the show? It's been that long since it's been on the air," Heigl revealed. "It changed the course of my life and my career, and I couldn't be more grateful. I just hope it goes for as long as they all want it to."
Season 12 of Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays this fall on ABC.

[Photo by Eric McCandless / ABC via Getty Images]