Katherine Heigl NBC Drama Loses Showrunner

State of Affairs (NBC)

Stars: Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, Cliff Chamberlain, Adam Kaufman, Sheila Vand, Tommy Savas, Leslie Odom Jr., Farshad Farahat 
Team: Alexi Hawley, Joe Carnahan, Katherine Heigl, Nancy Heigl, Bob Simonds, Sophie Watts, Henry Crumpton, Julia Franz, Rodney Faraon

Described as Scandal meets The West Wing, the drama revolves around a maverick CIA officer who was plucked from the field to become the president's daily briefer, assuming responsibility for targeting America's most critical threats while navigating the unique lifestyle that comes with such a high-powered job.

There's a change at the top of NBC's Katherine Heigl drama State of Affairs.

Trauma creator Dario Scardapane, whose credits also include FX's The Bridge and NBC's Chase, is in negotiations to replace showrunner Ed Bernero, who has exited the freshman CIA thriller, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Sources tell THR that his departure followed creative clashes with executive producer/director Joe Carnahan, who has been attached to the project from its inception, and had nothing to do with star Heigl.

Criminal Minds alum Bernero told reporters in June that he has been with the series since it was picked up after news of his addition was reported at least a month later. "When I first saw the pilot at NBC, I had been talking to NBC for a while about coming back because I started at NBC with a show called Third Watch years ago and I just kind of missed the people," he told reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour after he was asked why he boarded the series. "I didn’t come in because there were any problems. I came in as the showrunner once the show was picked up and they knew they needed a showrunner."

During the session, Bernero also defended the show's star after she was asked about reports — including a Hollywood Reporter feature last year — that she and her mother/manger/EP Nancy are "difficult." He attempted to deflect the uncomfortable line of questioning for a visually uncomfortable Heigl, but a reporter cut him off, insisting she take it herself. Surprised, Bernero shot back, "Wow, that was rude," before Heigl began.

EW first reported Bernero's departure.

Aug. 15, 12:30 p.m. Updated with new information regarding Bernero's replacement.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit