I call bull on that last bit. Why on earth would Ellen Pompeo be consulted on that sort of production decision? I think even Ellen's underfed brain knows she has no standing in who gets a spin-off. The first part, though, I totally buy.
I imagine these are factors in Katherine Heigl's decision to drop out of contract negotiations with the show's producers over a salary dispute. “Katie is disappointed and hurt that Touchstone doesn’t value her as much as her other co-stars, especially Sandra Oh and Isaiah Washington,” says a source. Katie's been pissed with the producers for a long time, as she felt Isaiah wasn't punished harshly enough for his behavior toward her BFF T.R. Knight, and, with latecomer Kate Walsh chosen for a spin-off over her, she's probably just fuming. Plus, she knows the show can't lose its two hottest chicks at the same time. That, my friends, would be some serious shark-jumping.