It's official: T.R. Knight exits 'Grey's Anatomy'

Greys-anatomy-tr-knight_l Fall’s still months away, but one of last season’s bigger Grey’s Anatomy cliffhangers has already been resolved: Sources confirm to me exclusively that T.R. Knight’s wish to be released from his contract has been granted. The official decision, I’m told, came down in the past few days, just as many of his castmates began receiving their formal pickup letters from ABC.

What does this news mean for George? What will Knight do next? And what about Izzie? Find out after the jump…

The actor’s exit closes yet another rocky chapter for the embattled primetime soap, one that opened with Isaiahgate and worsened when, amid rumors that Knight was clashing with series creator Shonda Rhimes, George O’Malley was backburnered. Finally, Knight grew so fed up with his character’s lack of storyline that he asked if he could check out three years before his deal expired. After that, all indications were that he would be let go, although Rhimes didn’t make a final decision until recently. (Contractually speaking, she had until June 30 to make up her mind.)

Last month, Rhimes told me that George’s relatively light storyline this year was the result of the normal “ebbs and flows” of ensemble television. But she did acknowledge that he was intentionally written lighter during the last half of the season so that viewers wouldn’t think it odd that he was absent from the season finale — something that was necessary to preserve the episode’s biggest twist: that George was actually a disfigured John Doe who had been hit by a bus. “I really wanted you to not notice that he wasn’t there for most of this episode,” she said. “I don’t think anybody noticed because of the way we laid it out this season.”

Knight’s departure would seem to confirm that George doesn’t survive, although fans have wondered whether Rhimes is planning to pull an Elizabeth Reaser (Jane Doe/Rebecca) and have him live, only to be replaced by another actor, thanks to plastic surgeon Sloane’s handiwork. That’s “hilarious, ridiculous,” the boss has said. However, I’ve heard that she was interested in having Knight appear in next season’s first three episodes, but a short-term deal could not be brokered.

What will Knight do now? Per an insider, the theatrically-trained thesp is in talks to start 2010 by headlining a Broadway revival of Lend Me a Tenor, the classic farce he recently did a reading of with Alfred Molina, Tony Shalhoub, and Marian Seldes.

Reps for Knight and ABC declined to comment.

Now that the question of George’s future seems to have been answered, another puzzler moves to the forefront: What’s going to happen to Katherine Heigl’s Izzie, whose life also hung in the balance in last May’s capper? Sources now confirm that ABC has formally picked up her contract option and she will be returning next season. But back to the matter at hand: Proceed to the comments and weigh in on Knight’s departure.

More Grey’s Scoop:
Jessica Capshaw promoted to series regular!

Comments (465 total) Add your comment
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  • Kacie

    This is not surprising but it makes me so damn sad. :(

  • Josh

    See ya, George. Can’t say that I blame the guy.

  • Kari

    I had a feeling, and had a dream about what they’re going to do with the elevator exit…

  • barrett

    Kind of glad to see him go. His character had a small role in last season so that when she wrote him off…no one would miss him. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

    • Mary

      that is so ridiculous! george made the freakin show and its stupid that hes off! his dyke wife should have died not george!

      • jamey

        this is why he left the show for anti-gay comments like that. grow the f@#$ up and use your words

  • Lina

    I will miss George but I’m excited about the possibilities this opens up for the series. Of course, I’m assuming his character dies… I do hope that’s how they choose to play this out and not try to replace him. I think that replacing TR with another character as George will just be a drag on the momentum the series has been building recently.

  • valeria!

    We all knew it… !.. pff so SOOOOO sad!

  • Stuart

    Damn, George was my favourite of the gang!
    :( will miss George! Hope the Eva thing doesnt happen though.
    So who is Dominic M playing?

  • Sarah P.

    I always hated George, mainly because of T.R. himself and all the issues with Isaiah Washington. Good riddance, George!
    TEAM BURKE.

    • USMCVET

      ALL THE ISSUES with Issiah Washington? Are you so IGNORANT that you don’t even know who was responsible for the SLUR to begin with?

      Bigots like you should crawl back into the hole from which you came!

      • jamey

        right on USMCVET hoo-ah

    • Damian

      @ Sarah. P : You ignorant twit..go get your facts right before crapping nonsense! You make yourself look like a complete fool…I hope someday people would say,Good Riddance to bad rubbish, to you!

  • Robert Taylor

    Ausiello, haven’t you reported this twice before as fact and then the producers spoke out against you both times?
    Why should we believe you now?

  • valeria!

    BTW… I hope its just TR Knight leaving, two interns (I mean Izzie leaving too) would be the end of the show

  • dani

    It’s too bad. Now I’m officially done with Grey’s.

  • Ameer

    I’ll miss him.

  • Adam
  • Vikki

    I’m going to miss George. I was totaly stunned by the finale – I can’t wait for next season to start!

  • Zip

    Good for T.R. Knight leaving. Aside from a paycheck, why does any good actor want anything to do with this played out show?

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