TV star Ellen Pompeo recently mentioned a possible departure from her lead role in the ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy.” The long-running medical series just celebrated its 400th episode and the finale of its season 18.
The newest episode will see the return of former show regulars Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew, who left in seasons 17 and 14, respectively. While Williams left of his own volition, Drew was released from the series due to creative decisions by the showrunners.
In the red carpet event marking the 400th episode, Pompeo said she thought the show would have no problem going on without her. She also added that while the show might not go on with her, it would be continued as an inspiration for healthcare workers and the younger generation.
Ellen Pompeo Says ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Could Go On Without Her
Pompeo believes that the Grey Sloan Memorial would have no problem functioning without her character, Dr. Meredith Grey. The actress started on the long-running ABC series eighteen seasons ago as one of the series regulars.
While talking to Entertainment Tonight, she revealed that the show would go on if she were in the picture or not, depending on the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes’ decision.
Pompeo shared, “Shonda and I, I think—we’ll see, we’ll see. Trying to reinvent the show and continually trying to reinvent the show is the challenge at this point, and listen, the show speaks to a lot of people, and the young people love the show.
Pompeo Says The Show Inspired Several Health Workers
While she spoke to Entertainment Tonight on the “Grey Anatomy’s” 400th episode red carpet, Pompeo revealed she thought the series inspired several “generations of health care workers.”
“It’s inspired so many generations of healthcare workers, so I think for the young people, it’s a really good piece of content,” the actress said. “And we’re going to try to keep it going for the young people, not necessarily with me, but keep it going beyond me.”
When asked who would replace her character on the show, Pompeo replied cryptically, “We’ll find someone maybe, or we won’t.” While the 52-year-old sounded like she already had one foot out the door, she won’t be leaving the series too soon. The actress signed a one-year deal in January to continue her role in season 19.
Ellen Pompeo Signed A One Year Deal To Continue On ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
Pompeo reportedly signed a one-year deal to continue as the lead character in season 19 of the long-running medical series. She was also upped from her previous role as co-executive producer to an executive producer of the upcoming season.
Krista Vernoff, who is also an executive producer, will continue her role as the series showrunner. Like its previous season, ABC didn’t specify if season 19 would be the final season of the entire show or the final one with Pompeo as part of the cast.
The actress previously shared her desire to see the end of the series and her plans for her career after that. The 52-year-old is currently one of the three original cast members of the series left whose contracts expired at the end of the seventeenth season. Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr, the other two actors, reportedly signed new multi-year contacts that include season 19.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Celebrated Its 400th Episode
“Grey’s Anatomy” recently commemorated its 400th episode, which was the series’ season 18 finale. Talking about the final episode for the season, Pompeo revealed that viewers might need some tissues nearby because there would be some sad scenes.
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She said, “There is sadness, yes. I was exhausted yesterday. I filmed a couple of the final scenes yesterday, and I definitely had my wine after work, and I was done. I didn’t cook dinner. I just laid on the couch.” The actress revealed that she was “really grateful” for the kind of fanbase “Grey’s Anatomy” has and that the fans are the ones who keep the show going.
Another highlight of the season finale is the return of Williams and Drew to the series after over a year. The duo will reportedly make a special guest appearance in the episode. When a new season was announced, Rhimes revealed that she and the rest of the crew were excited to “keep telling the stories of Meredith, Bailey, Richard, and all of the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial for another season.”
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