Katherine Heigl joins USA's "Suits" as a new partner at...

Katherine Heigl joins USA's "Suits" as a new partner at the firm who "challenges the status quo," the network said Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. Credit: Invision/AP / Sanford Myers

Katherine Heigl is joining the eighth season of “Suits,” USA announced Wednesday.

While not technically replacing original cast members Patrick Adams or Meghan Markle, she nonetheless joins a series with not one but two considerable holes. Per USA, Heigl will play Samantha Wheeler, “a talented new partner at Pearson Specter Litt who challenges the status quo and will either become the firm’s greatest ally . . . or most powerful enemy.”

She joins the other series incumbents, Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty and Roslyn Heights native Rick Hoffman. Dulé Hill will also become a series regular.

Once one of the most bankable TV stars in Hollywood, Heigl’s last two series “Doubt” and “State of Affairs” flopped. Nevertheless, that indelible star quality remains. She was a big part of the early success of “Grey’s Anatomy” (she won a supporting actress in a drama series Emmy for playing character Izzie Stevens in 2007) and had a couple of hit movies (“27 Dresses,” “Knocked Up”).

Heigl, 39, is heading to a show that’s lost much of the zip of the early days, but still has a sizable fan base. Shot in Toronto, “Suits” goes back into production in April.

In a statement, Heigl said, “I have watched ‘Suits’ from the very beginning and feel incredibly lucky to be the newest member of the Pearson Specter Litt family.”

Creator and showrunner Aaron Korsh said, “Samantha’s wit, charm, loyalty, strength and vulnerability will all be put to the test as she muscles her way into the firm currently known as Pearson Specter Litt.”

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