Gold Derby nuggets: Katherine Heigl exiting 'Grey's Anatomy'? | Banned 'Hurt Locker' picks up Oscar | Extended 'Avatar' in the works?
• Michael Ausiello reports that Katherine Heigl may well be leaving "Grey's Anatomy" for good. Heigl -- who won the supporting actress Emmy in 2007 -- declined to submit herself for consideration in 2008, telling Gold Derby, "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination." Heigl, who has been MIA for most of this season, was to return to the show March 1. However, as Michael writes, "talks between Heigl and ABC have been going on for months and last week both sides mutually decided that the best solution would be to part ways now as opposed to at the end of the season. As a result, Heigl is not expected to return to the 'Grey's' set, which means her final episode as Izzie has already aired." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
• Betty White -- who will be hosting the May 8 installment of "Saturday Night Live" -- could be competing against herself in the guest actress in a comedy series category at the Emmys. She is to appear in the season finale of "The Middle" playing "a school librarian who confronts quirky 7-year-old Brick (Atticus Shaffer) about hoarding overdue library books." ZAP2IT
• The kids of the Golden Globe-winning series "Glee" are hitting the road this May for a mini concert tour that takes them to Phoenix, L.A., Chicago and New York. The news release promises, "a unique concert experience conceived by Ryan Murphy that will include live performances of some of the show’s most memorable musical numbers including its anthem 'Don’t Stop Believin,' fan favorites 'Somebody to Love' and 'Jump' and hits 'Don’t Rain on My Parade' and 'Sweet Caroline.' "
• Steve Pond reports that Nicolas Chartier, who was banned from the Oscars for his e-mail campaign on behalf of best picture winner "The Hurt Locker," picked up his award Wednesday from academy president. " 'I invited him to come in, and we had a really good discussion,' says Sherak. 'You could see that he got choked up when I gave it to him, and we talked for about half an hour. It was kind of cathartic: he got it off his chest that he was sorry it all happened, and I was very satisfied with his apology.' " THE ODDS
• Jay Fernandez tallies up how this year's Oscar-winning talent was spread among the agencies and discovers that "though CAA roped most of the A-list cred -- Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Mark Boal (2), Kathryn Bigelow (2), Greg Shapiro, Geoffrey Fletcher, Ryan Bingham -- ICM turned out an impressive night with supporting actor (Christoph Waltz), doc short subject (Elinor Burkett), cinematography (Mauro Fiore), costume design (Sandy Powell) and editing (Bob Murawski). UTA nabbed one for 'Avatar' art director Robert Stromberg." THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
• Bryan Enk writes that "Avatar" -- which lost a load of Imax and 3-D screens to "Alice in Wonderland" last weekend -- may be re-released in the fall in an extended version. "Cameron has said that he has an additional 10-12 minutes of footage that could be put into post-production fairly quickly, including a scene in which Jake Sully's avatar proves himself to the Na'vi people and another involving a native festival during which tribe member Tsu'tey gets drunk." MOVIEFONE
• Patrick Healy reports that Andrew Lloyd Webber's new tuner "Love Never Dies" -- the sequel to 1988 Tony champ "The Phantom of the Opera" -- is still scheduled to open in New York in the fall despite mixed reviews in London this week. However an exec with the production told Patrick that changes are likely to be made in advance of the show bowing on Broadway. ARTS BEAT
• And David Ng says another new tuner -- "Unchain My Heart, the Ray Charles Musical" -- is heading to New York this fall. This newly titled edition of the 2007 Pasadena Playhouse production will also be directed by Sheldon Epps and "takes place during the final live recording session by the musical legend and traces the main events of his life." CULTURE MONSTER
Top photo: Katherine Heigel at the 2007 Emmy Awards.
Middle photo: Academy Awards statues. Credit: AMPAS
Bottom photo:"Avatar" poster.