Ellen Pompeo has led the soapy medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Meredith Grey for nearly 400 episodes and 17 years. Now, she’s making it her mission to end the long-lasting series, which is in the middle of airing its 18th season on ABC, by working to convince everyone on set that it’s time to close the chapter.
Grey’s Anatomy is now in its 18th season. Nearly everyone from the original cast left the show years ago — Sandra Oh bailed after season 10; Katherine Heigl made her final appearance in season six; Patrick Dempsey hasn’t been a series regular since season 11; even creator Shonda Rhimes has moved to streaming — with one exception. Ellen Pompeo is still out there playing Dr. Meredith Grey for 20-something episodes every season, but even she’s ready for ABC’s hospital-set drama to be put out of its misery.
“I’ve been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end,” she told Insider. “?I feel like I’m the super naive one who keeps saying, ‘But what’s the story going to be, what story are we going to tell?’ And everyone’s like, ‘Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.’” That’s also approximately how much money she makes every season.
After a contract renegotiation in 2017, Pompeo is earning about $550,000 per episode for her starring role on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. She reportedly adds about $6 million a year from her share of syndication profits.
It’s in Pompeo’s best financial interests for Grey’s to continue as long as ABC wants to keep making episodes (which is to say, indefinitely), but after nearly 400 episodes, she sounds ready to be freed from the shackles of broadcast television. Let Ellen Pompeo be in a Marvel movie, or whatever. She’s earned it.
I think the show can continue on without Dr. Meredith Grey.