Katherine Heigl & Ellen Pompeo set to leave 'Grey's Anatomy' as several newcomers are cast

ellenpompeo.jpgSeattle Grace is welcoming new blood. And preparing to wave a few very familiar faces goodbye.

Yes, of course, the season will begin with the heartbreaking funeral of the beloved George O'Malley since T.R. Knight has left the show, but it seems we may be losing Izzie Stevens and Meredith Grey as well.

No, Izzie isn't dying of that dumb brain cancer. And Meredith isn't drowning herself in the Pacific.

In fact, as far as we know, they aren't dying at all. They are simply disappearing for a while because the actresses who play them have some other things going on.

With Ellen Pompeo very pregnant and Katherine Heigl set to shoot a new feature film, the "Grey's Anatomy" writers have come up with a storyline to accommodate their characters' temporary absence and, according to E! Online, it will revolve around the merger of Seattle Grace and its crosstown rival hospital Mercy West. Apparently, SGH is about to double in size and with this development comes new doctors of course.

Nora Zehetner ("Heroes," "Everwood") and Robert Baker ("Valentine," "Leatherheads") will play residents, first appearing in the season's fifth episode. Both of their characters -- though one may be, on the surface, much nicer than the other -- are set to make some waves at Seattle Grace.

Zehetner and Baker join Jesse Williams ("Greek," "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2"), who will play another new employee roaming the hospital halls this year.

So, thoughts?

Not a bad way to keep the veteran "Grey's" talent on board, allowing them some room to do other things -- like have a kid -- without having to kill them off, no?

Think you'll like seeing a few fresh faces on the six-year-old show?


Follow Korbi on Twitter and follow Zap2It's main feed for all your movies, TV and celebrity news.

RELATED:

'Grey's Anatomy' season 6, get your first look-see
'Grey's Anatomy' actors film George's funeral scene
T.R. Knight: Why I quit 'Grey's Anatomy'
T.R. Knight's 'Grey's Anatomy' contract terminated
Katherine Heigl staying on 'Grey's'dasf