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Stars Leaving ABC Shows

I'm not a fan of stars announcing their departures from hit series. I'd rather be surprised when their characters die or move away.

But since the news is out, I can't ignore the coming departures of Nicollette Sheridan from ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight from ABC's "Grey's Anatomy."

ABC has confirmed that Sheridan will be leaving "Housewives" but wouldn't say when. Her character, Edie Britt, was almost killed off last season. Edie has out-lived her dramatic usefulness and the remaining question now is whether her mentally unstable husband will eventually do her in.

The departures of Heigl and Knight were apparently announced by fellow cast member James Pickens Jr. in a magazine interview. They haven't been confirmed but they make sense.

Heigl, who was vocal last season about her displeasure with the story line for her sensitive character, Izzy Stevens, was given more to do this season. Unfortunately, much of it had to do with Izzy's continuing relationship with a dead guy, Denny, and it was painful to watch. Don't cry for Heigl, who has a successful movie career.

Knight's lovable character, George O'Malley, hasn't had much to do this season, which suggests the writers didn't know what to do with him.

What do you think of the departures? And how do you want the characters to leave the show?

-- Alan Pergament

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