Ellen Pompeo Revealed She's Barely Watched Any Grey's Anatomy Episodes
"I’ve watched only a handful."
After 18 seasons and 392 episodes, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy Ellen Pompeo admitted she has never watched the complete series in its entirety. During her Feb. 23 episode of her Tell Me with Ellen Pompeo podcast, the actress revealed she never has an interest in watching the series on air after she’s finished filming. Ellen Pompeo’s statements about not watching her hit show Grey’s Anatomy are surprising — to say the least — so let’s have her explain.
Despite being the longest-running medical drama on prime TV, Pompeo told her guest Martha Stewart that she’s “not even close” to watching every single episode. “I haven't really seen most of them, I've watched only a handful," she said on her podcast.
She went on to explain that she will, however, refer back to earlier episodes when she takes on directing an episode, in order to draw inspiration. “The few times I've directed, I've gone back and watched some old episodes. My intention is always to keep the spirit of the early days. That's really the hard work, is to try to keep that sort of DNA, which is hard but gives us a goal at least to strive for.”
In January 2022, ABC renewed Grey’s Anatomy for its 19th season, with current showrunner and executive producer Krista Vernoff at the helm. Creator Shonda Rhimes said she was excited to see the show return for another season. “I couldn't be more excited that we get to keep telling the stories of Meredith, Bailey, Richard and all of the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial for another season," Rhimes said, per People. “This is a true testament to Krista Vernoff, the cast, the crew and all the writers who keep the audience on the edge of their seat week after week. And it would not be possible without the generations of incredible fans who have supported Grey's Anatomy for so many years.”
In a November 2021 interview with Variety, Rhimes admitted she’s proud of the show’s legacy and what it’s done for viewers, but accepts it will one day come to an end.
Pompeo has also addressed that she’s attempted to leave the show before, per Entertainment Tonight. “It's not because I haven't been trying," she said of why she hasn’t left the show. "I have strong relationships at the network [ABC] and they have been very, very good to me, and have incentivized me to stay. I don't take the decision lightly," she said. “We employ a lot of people, and we have a huge platform. And I'm very grateful for it.”
Catch Grey’s Anatomy every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.