Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air since March 27, 2005, and is easily a household franchise, well-known across the world. More original cast members have left the show in the last few years, than ever before. Currently the only “OG Intern” is Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey.
If you wanna get real technical, Chandra Wilson, the woman that plays Miranda Bailey, is also an original cast member. As of right now, James Pickens Jr., the actor behind Richard Webber, is still on the show. However, the question fans are asking now is… for how long?
It’s been indicated he might be leaving.
If you’ve been with the show since the beginning, then you’re not a stranger to the characters and actors who have left the show.
Sandra Oh, Cristina Yang left, and fans really hoped that she’d return; but she’s only ever shown up in video-calls or as voice overs.
She told Extra: “I just got to tell you, creatively you have moved on and while I know, and I deeply appreciate it, because I can feel it from the fans how much they love Cristina and that the show also still keeps Cristina alive, for me, [Killing Eve] is my home now. This is where I am.”
Another gut-wrenching hit was Patrick Dempsey, which happened a few seasons ago. He played Meredith’s husband, Derek Shepherd. When asked what he had planned now, he replied to Entertainment Tonight (a 2015 interview): “Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character — for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our ‘McDreamy.’ Patrick Dempsey’s performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example — happy, sad, romantic, painful, and always true — of what young women should demand from modern love, his loss will be felt by all.”
Grey’s Anatomy has renewed for Season 17, and according to an interview with Shonda Rhimes with E! News, Pompeo and Rhimes have a pact: “Ellen [Pompeo] and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show. So, the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping. So, I don’t know if we’ll see 600, but I want to keep it feeling fresh. As long as there are fresh stories to tell and as long as we’re both excited about the stories being told, we’re in. So, we’ll see where that takes us.”
However, one actor on the show does not feel like the show will go on for much longer. His name is Giacomo Gianniotti, and he plays Andrew DeLuca, Meredith Grey’s love interest as of currently.
“At the moment, we have one more season locked in and I feel pretty confident that that’s where it’ll end, I think, from the conversations that I’ve had with people,” he said in an interview with Us Weekly. He also admitted that these thoughts could change at any time; it’s ultimately up to Pompeo.
“I don’t know where Ellen stands. I think she’s still having a good time,” he added during this interview. “I think we all feel like it’s coming to a close. If the writers really feel like there’s more stories to tell, then who knows?”