Entertainment & Arts

Katherine Heigl joins Suits after Meghan Markle exit

Katherine Heigl Suits Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Heigl will play law firm partner Samantha Wheeler

Katherine Heigl is joining legal drama Suits as a regular cast member for its eighth series.

She will play Samantha Wheeler, a new partner in the Pearson Specter Litt law firm who divides opinion.

The former Grey's Anatomy actress said she "watched Suits from the very beginning" and is an "immense fan" of the cast.

It comes after the show's broadcaster, USA Network, announced Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams were leaving.

Markle is giving up acting after becoming engaged to Prince Harry, while Adams - who plays Mike Ross, the boyfriend of Markle's character Rachel Zane - said he was looking forward to watching the show as a fan.

Heigl's new character in Suits has been described by the show's makers as the law firm's "greatest ally or most powerful enemy".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Adams and Markle play on-screen couple Mike Ross and Rachel Zane

It is Heigl's first major role since her departure from Grey's Anatomy, which she left after reportedly clashing with the production team.

She has since appeared in White House drama State of Affairs and thriller Doubt, but neither show has been hugely successful.

She will be joined by another newcomer in Suits - The West Wing's Dule Hill. He will play Alex Williams, a senior partner at a rival law firm.

Season seven will conclude in March, with filming for the new season starting the following month.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story