- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Staying at ‘Grey’s’?

Are George and Izzie on call or off duty?

News broke last week that Dr. Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl) and Dr. George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) would be leaving the hit ABC show “Grey’s Anatomy.”

However, show creator Shonda Rhimes wants to set that record straight, the New York Daily News reports.

“That was a very interesting rumor … and it’s not true,” Miss Rhimes told People magazine Thursday night at the 40th NAACP Image Awards in Los Angeles.

Cast member James Pickens Jr., who plays “the Chief,” was quoted as saying the pair were set to leave the show.

Mr. Pickens also was at the NAACP awards and tried to clarify his remarks.

“When the question was posed to me, I was more trying to congratulate Katie and T.R. on whatever they were going to do. But yeah, I don’t have any special info about it either way,” he said.

Rumors have long swirled around Miss Heigl and Mr. Knight and their status with the cast.

Miss Heigl has publicly criticized her character’s story line and implied she would prefer to drop TV to focus on her film career after the success of “Knocked Up” and “27 Dresses.”

Meanwhile, gossip about Mr. Knight’s possible departure has bounced around since the show’s acrimonious break with former co-star Isaiah Washington - who left after making controversial comments about Mr. Knight’s sexuality.

Miss Rhimes says the most recent rumors were just a case of comments taken out of context and that - at least for now - Miss Heigl and Mr. Knight are still on the show.

“Things happen, and … I think rumors become fact very easily. And you know I don’t like to tell you what’s going to happen on the show - but that is a rumor,” Miss Rhimes says.

‘Starter’ finished

USA has pulled the plug on “The Starter Wife,” which starred Debra Messing, after two seasons, E! Online reports.

In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, the cable network called the show a “critical and creative success” and said its Dec. 12 finale served as a “satisfying conclusion” to the series.

Despite some early success, the show and the network apparently had one difference they were unable to reconcile: USA wanted ratings; “The Starter Wife” couldn’t get them. The show began as a heralded six-hour miniseries in 2007, attracting 5 million viewers and earning 10 Emmy nominations. Last year’s inaugural 10-episode season, however, saw a sharp ratings drop, averaging just 2.4 million viewers, and it garnered just one Golden Globe nomination, for Miss Messing.

She lost.

‘Rescue’ returns

FX has ordered a sixth season of the series “Rescue Me,” TVWeek.com reports.

The show will kick off its 22-episode fifth season on April 7. The sixth-season order is for 18 episodes.

The network also said that “Rescue Me” star Denis Leary will launch the Rescue Me Comedy Tour at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on April 2. The live tour will hit 11 cities and feature Mr. Leary, co-stars Adam Ferrara and Lenny Clarke and other stand-up comedians.

Life imitates art

Bravo is in production on a real-life “Gossip Girl,” a new reality series that will center on private school students in New York City, says Zap2it.com, citing a story from Broadcasting & Cable.

The series is scheduled to premiere later this year and will follow the same production style as the webisodes that Bravo ran of the children of “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”

No single school will be featured exclusively, Zap2it.com says.

The folks behind “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” will produce the new series.

On tap tonight

Leverage (10, TNT) - Nate (Timothy Hutton) and his band of high-tech thieves go after the CEO of an insurance company that denied his son crucial medical treatment. Aldis Hodge, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Gina Bellman also star.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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