Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl might be a genius. Or she might be an idiot.

Or a little bit of both.

Heigl owes her stardom to her role as Izzie on "Grey's Anatomy." But she went out of her way to bad-mouth the show when the Emmy nominations came out. She wasn't on the list for best supporting actress in a drama, the category she won in last fall, because she didn't submit her name. You have to do so to be considered.

"I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention," Heigl said in a prepared statement.

It was a direct slap at the show's writers. And, not surprisingly, members of the staff have expressed their anger and outrage. (Off the record, of course.)

It's reminiscent of an episode of "Friends" in which Joey (Matt LeBlanc) bad-mouthed the writers of the soap he was starring in and his character plunged down an elevator shaft.

That may be exactly what Heigl is hoping for. She may want out of her "Grey's Anatomy" contract, which runs two more seasons.

Heigl had a contract dispute with the show's producers, and she's made no secret about her desire to spend more time making movies.

Her film career took off with "Knocked Up," which she bad-mouthed in an interview with Vanity Fair. Heigl called it sexist and said it was "hard to love."

So Heigl is burning bridges in both TV and films.

Maybe that's why she wants to be a producer. Heigl, who was raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has signed a contract to produce and star in a movie based on Carolyn Jessop's book about escaping the FLDS Church.

Success in the movies is fleeting, particularly for actresses. So leaving a hugely successful TV series is an iffy proposition.

BY THE WAY, Heigl reportedly makes $200,000 per episode of "Grey's Anatomy."

(That's $4.4 million for a 22-episode season.)

And, after making $300,000 for her role in "Knocked Up," the success of that film helped bump Heigl up to $6 million for her role in "27 Dresses" — which didn't do as well at the box office as "Knocked Up."

IT WASN'T A GREAT season for Heigl and her character, Dr. Izzie Stevens, on "Grey's." Part of that may well have been the disruption caused by the writers' strike. The show produced only 17 episodes, and no doubt writers were scrambling.

Part of the problem, however, may just be that the writers' have indeed run out of things for Izzie to do. Once she got together with George (T.R. Knight) and that didn't work out, the character seemed to be drifting.

It was something I was already worrying about in October 2005, early in the show's second season:

Because so many characters have so many interpersonal relationships, the show runs the risk of running out of things for them to do. ... That may prove to be a bigger problem for the actors than for the audience. The day may come when (the writers) are going to need to write in new characters and write out old characters.

If Heigl leaves and takes Izzie with her, fans will no doubt miss her. But it won't necessarily hurt the show.


E-mail: [email protected]