T.R. Knight Confirms ‘Grey's Anatomy' Exit, Katherine Heigl Returning

It's official – T.R. Knight won't be scrubbing in for the next season of "Grey's Anatomy."

"Leaving 'Grey's Anatomy' was not an easy decision for me to make. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to play this character and will miss my fellow cast and crew very much," T.R. said in a statement to Access Hollywood on Friday. "I continue to wish them the very best, and wholeheartedly thank all of the fans who have supported me and the show with such passion and enthusiasm."

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And Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer of the ABC show, also confirmed earlier reports that T.R. would not be returning as George O'Malley.

"I think I speak for the entire 'Grey's Anatomy' family when I say we wish T.R. Knight the best in his future endeavors," Shonda said in a statement to Access. "He is an incredibly talented actor and a person whose strength of character is admired by all of us."

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As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, on Wednesday, Entertainment Weekly reported that ABC was releasing the actor from his contract.

During the Season 5 finale of "Grey's Anatomy" last month, the fate of Knight's character, George O'Malley, was in limbo. O'Malley had been hit by a bus shortly after signing up for the military, and was undergoing surgery at the hands of his Seattle Grace friends.

He was last seen dressed in his military uniform, waiting as an elevator carrying Katherine Heigl's character, Izzie Stevens, opened in front of him.

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In related news, Katherine's option has been picked up and she will be returning to the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Her character was left with a cliff-hanger in the finale as well, flat-lining during surgery in the episode's final minutes.

ABC reps had no comment on Katherine's reported return when reached by Access.

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