Ellen Pompeo has been scrubbing up to play Dr. Meredith Grey for over a decade and a half now, but she’s made it clear she thinks it’s time to move on. As Grey’s Anatomy has remained on air despite most of its original main characters leaving, Pompeo has dropped a few hints in recent years that the iconic medical drama is nearing its finale. And now that the show’s in Season 18, Ellen Pompeo has straight-up said she wants Grey’s Anatomy to end, although she’s having a tough time convincing her fellow producers.
“I’ve been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end,” Pompeo said in a Dec. 18 interview with 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.'”
As Pompeo’s statement emphasizes, there seems to be a clear push-and-pull between the creative and financial sides of Grey’s. The series is still a hit all these years later, but it’s not easy coming up with fresh storylines after nearly 400 episodes. Pompeo has hinted the show could be close to ending before; back in 2020, she said Season 17 could be the final season, which was supported by the fact that her contract was up after that season. But in 2021, Grey’s was picked up for Season 18, with Pompeo extending her contract for yet another year. The show is currently in the middle of airing Season 18, which is expected to continue through the first half of 2022.
Grey’s fans have also felt the show may be nearing its end. Season 17 notably provided a ton of closure by bringing back tons of fan-favorite characters to reunite with Meredith on her dream beach, and Season 18 has also been bringing back characters who left the show years ago. These returns have been particularly exciting given that only three of the show’s original stars are still part of the cast: Pompeo, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, and James Pickens Jr. as Richard Webber. Could all this mean this trio will finally get a break?
Be sure to catch the second half of Season 18 in 2022, Grey’s fans, because it sounds like this season’s finale could also end up being the series finale if Pompeo has her way.