Katherine Heigl is set to replace Meghan Markle in the cast of American legal drama ‘Suits’, it has been announced this week, with Markle’s on-screen boyfriend Patrick J. Adams also set to quit his role.

39 year old actor Heigl will play a new talented lawyer, named Samantha Wheeler, at Pearson Specter Litt on the USA Network show, the broadcaster confirmed on Wednesday (January 31st). The upcoming eighth season begins production in April in Toronto.

“Joining ‘Suits’ was the perfect organic way to not only collaborate with an executive producer I admire deeply, but to also become part of a show and cast that I am an immense fan of,” Heigl said in a statement. “I have watched ‘Suits’ from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family.”

Katherine HeiglKatherine Heigl is to join the cast of 'Suits'

Heigl has many film credits, such as Knocked Up and 27 Dresses, as well as firm television credentials, most notably for her five-year stint on ABC’s medical drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.

Markle, who played Rachel Zane in ‘Suits’ since its inception, is of course gearing up for a very different chapter in her life as she prepares to marry Prince Harry later this year.

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The network had announced the day before that ‘Suits’ would be returning for an eighth season, but without regulars Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams, who are both set to depart at the finale of season seven – the second half of which debuts on March 28th.

Prince Harry Meghan MarkleMeghan Markle with Prince Harry in late 2017

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” Adams said in a statement on social media this week, acknowledging his decision to quit.

“I'm excited to now step across the screen and become solely a fan of a show that I know has much more in store in the years to come. I wish everyone involved the best and am excited to see what kind of trouble they'll get themselves in and out of from here on out.”

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