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Heigl to portray CIA attache in series for NBC's fall lineup

| Sunday, July 13, 2014, 9:18 p.m.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Katherine Heigl is returning to television, with her mother in tow.

She stars on the new fall series “State of Affairs,” playing a CIA attache who informs the president on high-level incidents around the world. It's the first TV series for Heigl since she left her Emmy-winning role on “Grey's Anatomy” in 2010 after six seasons.

Heigl's mother, Nancy, is serving as an executive producer on the NBC series debuting in November. She manages her 35-year-old daughter's career and has had similar credits on “One for the Money,” “Life as We Know It” and “The Ugly Truth,” all starring Heigl.

The notion that Heigl and her mother are difficult on set has followed the actress since “Grey's Anatomy.”

“I certainly don't see myself as being difficult. I would never intend to be difficult,” she said. “I don't think my mother sees herself as being difficult. I think it's important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully and kindly. If I've ever disappointed somebody, it was never intentional.”

When her mother was asked about her role on the show, Heigl interjected, “She bakes us cookies.”

Nancy Heigl said she and her daughter pitched the series.

“I am her mother for sure, so of course I care about her interests,” she said. “But I'm just learning about executive producing. I'm a newcomer to it.”

NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke described Nancy Heigl as “someone with a strong opinion.”

“There have been no problems,” Salke said. “She's not been disruptive in any way.”

Upon leaving “Grey's Anatomy,” Heigl limited her movie roles to be with her family, including husband and singer Josh Kelley and their two adopted daughters.

After the session with critics at the summer TV tour, Heigl described the talk about her reputation as “awkward.”

“I don't think I really see myself as really being difficult,” she said. “How can I prove that to you until you've met me and until you've worked with me?”

She said, laughing, “I think I'm a joy to work with.”

“I needed that time,” she said. “I needed to be a mom and wife and friend and revel with that, and remember what it is I feel so passionate about in this industry.”

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