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.

addCredit(“Katherine Heigl: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage”)