You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

Isaiah Washington Is Returning to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Isaiah Washington Is Returning to 'Grey's Anatomy'

Isaiah Washington will return to reprise his original role as surgeon Dr. Preston Burke on ABC’s Shonda Rhimes medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, 7 years after he was dropped from the show, after on-set controversies involving his Grey’s co-stars T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey.

It’s not a permanent return, however. Washinton will be guest-starring as his former character in an episode of the drama series scheduled to air in May. His return comes as the show preps to say goodbye to Sandra Oh’s character, Cristina, who was engaged to marry Washington’s Burke, prior to his exit.

Fans of the series will remember that in Dr. Burke’s final episode, he was a no-show for his wedding to Cristina. 

In a statement about Washington’s return, showrunner Shonda Rhimes said:

“It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should. Burke is vital to that journey — he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang.” 

Surely that episode will likely be a ratings hit for ABC whenever it airs. 

Washington’s been busy lately, both on the big and small screen, from his acclaimed performance in Blue Caprice, to joining the cast of The CW post-apocalyptic series, The 100, and much more.

He can currently be seen in Patrik-Ian Polk’s drama Blackbird, co-starring with Mo’Nique.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged ,



I stopped watching after he left..he was the show for me. Wish he could stay!!


Happy about this!!! And people in regards to Shonda Rhimes . . . sometimes you have to do what you need to do to do what you want to do.

Roger McIntyre

Long overdue, Isaiah was one reason the show did well from jump. Often times egos bump heads.
Emotions are a big part of life and acting. So when we vent we are asking for help! but its the perception that people use to undermine others. He deserved better, but you can't please everybody. Especially when you are outnumbered. I was there from season 3-9.


don't watch this show, but nice to hear that's being allowed to come back, i never liked how that sh1t went down when he got kicked off the show to begin with. kudos to rhimes!


I hope he and Yang will be going off into the sunset together.. I loved them together….I don't watch anymore but I'll take a look at this ep because he's coming back for it..


Good. I stopped watching after he left. Kudos to Rimes for moving past the network's B.S. to give a talented actor another chance.

Dankwa Brooks

About ISAIAH WASHINGTON I recently saw him in BLUE CAPRICE and he did a fantastic job! In my little Instagram review I said "His character was like the picture dark and methodical with a bunch of simmering rage thrown in."

Even though this is just a "one shot"–for now, I'm happy that he has this chance to form some kind of resolution.

Dankwa Brooks

About SHONDA RHIMES being a "tom". Let me say this, I'm tired of black folks criticizing black folks in position of power for not including more black folks–in ANY capacity. To that I say YOU GET IN WHERE YOU FIT IN.

They got to this position of power by working with the system. Trust them enough to work it the way they see fit. If they want to appoint white people/characters in key positions, trust the good judgement that got them this far.

You're not, you can't and you shouldn't try to please everyone, but I'm tired of black folks criticizing black folks. It's tired and it's played.


i'm excited.


So happy he's back; even for a little while. I thought the magic between Yang and Burke was great. Can't wait to see how it all comes down.


I guess shonda decided to stop being an uncle tom


Yes YESyES I've waited for this for soooooooooo long!!! Welcome back Dr Burke… You belong and I've missed you.. You and Christina Rock!!!!! yes Yes :) thx Shonda Finally!!!!!!!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *