Suits is beefing up its ranks as it prepares to bid farewell to two original cast members. Grey’s Anatomy alumna Katherine Heigl is joining USA Networks’ long-running drama as a new series regular for the just picked up eighth season which will not feature Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle. Heigl will star opposite Gabriel Macht on Suits, which is looking to shake things up, replacing the male buddy element of the show, built around the relationship between Macht’s Harvey Specter and Adams’ Mike Ross, with a male-female dynamic.

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.

Suits creator Aaron Korsh teased the new series regular in the series’ Season 8 renewal announcement yesterday. “Keep an eye out for an adversarial new character that will give Harvey a run for his money,” he said then.

In addition to Macht, Heigl joins returning Suits original cast members Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen), Rick Hoffman (Louis Litt) and newly minted series regular Dulé Hill (Alex Williams). The eighth season begins production in April in Toronto, with premiere slated for later this year on USA.

“On behalf of the entire Suits team, I am extraordinarily excited to welcome Katherine Heigl into our family – I have always been a big fan of her work and was delighted to discover she was an avid Suits fan herself,” Korsh said today. “I cannot wait to have her come play with our entire cast and crew. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Harvey, Louis, Donna and Alex as the mysterious Samantha Wheeler is a direct threat to their status quo. One thing is for sure – 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.”

Heigl is best known for her Emmy-winning co-starring role on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Her recent TV credits include starring roles on another legal drama, CBS’ Doubt, as well as on NBC’s State of Affairs. On the film side, she most recently starred in thriller Unforgettable. Heigl is repped by Zero Gravity Management and attorney Stephen Barnes.

From Universal Cable Productions, Suits is executive produced by Aaron Korsh as well as Doug Liman, David Bartis and Gene Klein of Hypnotic. Daniel Arkin, Rick Muirragui, Genevieve Sparling and Christopher Misiano also serve as executive producers.