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Katherine Heigl plays CIA analyst in 'State of Affairs'

Katherine Heigl stars as a CIA analyst in

Katherine Heigl stars as a CIA analyst in NBC's new thriller, "State of Affairs," premiering Monday, Nov. 17. Credit: TNS

Katherine Heigl admits the biggest challenge she faces with "State of Affairs" is "just trying to get people to believe I could actually be a CIA analyst. I think that was what was so compelling to me is that this is an actual job, and I had never realized that. I'm not sure why, but a lot of people have asked me, 'Does this really happen? Does the President have a briefer?'

"I thought the opportunity to . . . show this side of the CIA was really compelling," adds Heigl, "and to play such an intelligent woman who is a real patriot, who really believes that she can make a difference and help protect her country and help her president do her job."

In returning to television with "State of Affairs," the former "Grey's Anatomy" star explains that her break from the home screen over the past several years was what she needed at the time.

"I took a couple of years off to just really be with my family and be with my new child, my new daughter, and expand that family. And I needed that time. I needed to be a mom and be a wife. . . ."

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