12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Katherine Heigl Joins 'Suits' as Season 8 Series Regular
USA Network's Suits is bringing in a new face for season eight to help fill the void created by the upcoming exit of future British royal Meghan Markle.
Grey's Anatomy alum Katherine Heigl has been tapped to join the Aaron Korsh-created "Blue Skies" drama as a series regular for its recently announced eighth season.
Heigl will star, opposite Gabriel Macht, as Samantha Wheeler, a talented new partner at Pearson Specter Litt who challenges the status quo and will either become the firm's greatest ally or most powerful enemy.
Heigl joins a season eight cast that also Macht, Sarah Rafferty, Rick Hoffman and Dule Hill, who was promoted this week to regular after recurring in the current seventh cycle.
“Joining Suits was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with an EP I admire deeply, but to also become part of a show and cast that I am an immense fan of,” Heigl said in a statement. “I have watched Suits from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family."
Heigl's addition comes as Suits will say farewell to stars Patrick J. Adams and Markle in April's season seven finale. The role for Heigl marks her first cable series regular part after broadcast gigs on ABC's Grey's Anatomy, CBS' Doubt and NBC's State of Affairs.
"On behalf of the entire Suits team, I am extraordinarily excited to welcome Katherine Heigl into our family — I have always been a big fan of her work and was delighted to discover she was an avid Suits fan herself,” said Korsh, who also serves as showrunner. “I cannot wait to have her come play with our entire cast and crew. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Harvey, Louis, Donna and Alex as the mysterious Samantha Wheeler is a direct threat to their status quo. One thing is for sure — Samantha's wit, charm, loyalty, strength and vulnerability will all be put to the test as she muscles her way into the firm currently known as Pearson Specter Litt."
Heigl, who has in the past had a reputation as being difficult on set, counts 27 Dresses, Knocked Up, Unforgettable and The Ugly Truth, which she also executive produced, among her feature credits. The actress, who currently lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, will begin production on Suits in April in Toronto. She is repped by her mother and manager, Nancy Heigl; Zero Gravity Management; and Morris Yorn.