*After directing three episodes of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” in the past year, Debbie Allen will move in front of the camera to play the mother of Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), a show rep tells TVGuide.com.

The “Fame” alum will play Catherine Avery in the fifth episode of the new season. Her arrival will shed some light on Jackson’s family background, according to Entertainment Weekly, which first reported the news.

Jessie Williams

The eighth season of “Grey’s Anatomy” premieres Thursday, Sept. 22 at 9/8c on ABC.