+ Katherine Heigl‘s curious comment about dropping out of this year’s Emmy race (”I did not feel I was given the material…to warrant a nomination”) was construed by many as an opening salvo in an effort to leave Grey’s Anatomy, the ABC drama that garnered her a statuette last year and made her a star. The idea isn’t so far-fetched, since her stock as a movie actress continues to rise: Her asking price hovers around $6 million, she helped Knocked Up reach $149 million last year, and her name recognition propelled 27 Dresses to a $23 million opening weekend in January. Next up is a role opposite 300 star Gerard Butler in the romantic comedy The Ugly Truth. But here’s where it gets interesting: This wouldn’t be the first time she’s tried to ditch a show before her contract expires. Heigl and her agent rallied to release her from the sci-fi drama Roswell when it moved from The WB to UPN in 2001, according to two insiders familiar with the talks, but the request was denied. Heigl’s rep couldn’t be reached for comment, though a source close to the actress insists there was ”no hidden message” in her remarks, and that she’ll continue as Izzie Stevens on Grey’s. If its writers are a vengeful bunch, you have to wonder what’s in store for her….
+ Those Bluths are such teases! EW has learned that no deal — much less a script — is in place for a movie version of the Fox comedy Arrested Development, but that hasn’t stopped the actors from chatting about it. Quips star Jason Bateman: ”They are trying to decide if they can make it for the money they need. Michael Cera is a huge star now…with a huge star attitude to go with it. His salary will probably be the holdup.” — Lynette Rice, with additional reporting by Carrie Bell
+ Get ready for an American Idol blitz this fall at retail outlets. Season 7 winner David Cook and runner-up David Archuleta are scrambling for studio time in between Idol tour dates so they can release their debut albums in November. (Cook’s is expected to drop early that month.) As for Idol‘s most successful alum, Kelly Clarkson has been spending time in Australia at work on her fourth set, while Chris Daughtry is eyeing a spring 2009 berth for the follow-up to his quadruple-platinum debut. ”I don’t want to be accused of a sophomore slump,” he tells EW. ”It’s going to be a big rock album. Daughtry does not want to disappoint the fans by going soft on them.” — Shirley Halperin, with additional reporting by Carrie Bell
+ Maybe three’s the magic number for Mike Judge. The talented but unlucky writer-director, whose last two films (Office Space and Idiocracy) were ignored by moviegoers, is assembling a new comedy called Extract, which centers on a flower-extract plant owner (played by Jason Bateman) who’s facing a stream of bad luck, including workplace issues and a cheating wife. Saturday Night Live‘s Kristen Wiig, who just landed a role in Drew Barrymore‘s Roller Derby movie Whip It!, is in negotiations to play the cuckolding spouse, while Forgetting Sarah Marshall star Mila Kunis is in early talks to play one of the extract plant employees. Production is set to begin in August, pending the potential actors’ strike and Wiig’s SNL schedule. — Nicole Sperling, with additional reporting by Carrie Bell