My mother and I are a joy to work with, says Katherine Heigl

Cast member Katherine Heigl speaks as her mother and executive producer Nancy Heigl looks on during a panel for the television show "State of Affairs" at the Television Critics Association NBCUniversal Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California

By Beth Harris

Katherine Heigl (35) is returning to television - with her mother in tow.

Heigl stars in the new autumn series State of Affairs, playing a CIA attache who informs the US president on high-level incidents around the world.

It's the first TV series for Heigl since she left her Emmy-winning role on Grey's Anatomy in 2010 after six seasons.

Her mother, Nancy, is serving as an executive producer on the NBC series which debuts in November. She manages her daughter's career.

The notion that Heigl and her mother are difficult on set has followed the actress since Grey's Anatomy.

"I certainly don't see myself as being difficult. I would never intend to be difficult," said the actress. "I don't think my mother sees herself as being difficult. I think it's important to everybody to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully. "

When her mother was asked about her role on the show, Heigl interjected: "She bakes us cookies."

NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke described Nancy Heigl as "someone with a strong opinion".

"There have been no problems," Salke said. "She's not been disruptive in any way."

Heigl described the talk about her reputation as "awkward".

"I don't think I really see myself as really being difficult," she said. "How can I prove that to you until you've met me and until you've worked with me?"

She added, laughing, "I think I'm a joy to work with."

After leaving Grey's Anatomy, Heigl limited her movie roles to be with her family.

"I needed that time," she said. "I needed to be a mom and wife and friend and revel with that, and remember what it is I feel so passionate about in this industry."