Culture

'Grey's Anatomy' Won't Lose Ellen Pompeo Anytime Soon: 'I Like My Situation Here'

Ellen Pompeo may not be leaving Grey’s Anatomy after Season 16 after all. The actor, who has long hinted at departing from her award-winning role as Meredith Grey on the ABC hit series, revealed a change of heart regarding her casting during an interview with TV Line published on Wednesday.

“I keep saying, ‘I’m ready to move on and I want to stop the show before the ratings go down,’ but the ratings never go down!” she said. “They go down a little bit, but the fact that we are able to hold [our title as ABC’s No. 1 series] is kind of [incredible.] It’s very cool to have these kinds of ratings and be on a hit network show in this [peak TV] landscape.”

Before going on winter hiatus, Grey’s brought in a total of 7.3 million viewers in its fall season finale, according to a November TV Line report.

Pompeo’s $20 million contract covers her role on the show until the end of Season 16 in 2020. She noted the sweet deal she has with ABC and said that she generally enjoyed working for the network. “It’s [a] pretty nice place to work,” Pompeo said.

She continued: “I like my situation here. As much as the idea of wanting something new appeal to me… the truth is I have three kids. I don’t really want to travel and leave [them]. I don’t want to be a circus traveler and live in hotels. And the network and studio continue to incentivize me and just make me offers that I can’t refuse.”

Pompeo shares two daughters, Stella Luna and Sienna May, and son Eli Christopher with her longtime love and husband of nearly 12 years, Chris Ivery.

As one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses—Forbes reported Pompeo is worth some $23.5 thanks to Grey's—Pompeo’s departure from the show more than likely means the ending of the series altogether, and that’s something the actor noted she was well aware of. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about how many people have stable jobs [at Grey’s],” she said.

“In this town, you don’t get a lot of 24-episodes-a-season shows. So the fact that this crew gets to film 24 episodes—that’s 10 months of work—and they get to stay in LA [is remarkable],” she said.

For now, fans can be secure in knowing Pompeo is on the show. “I’m contracted through Season 16, and beyond that…I really don’t know. I take it day-by-day,” she said.

During an Entertainment Weekly interview in 2018, Pompeo hinted at reaching the end of the line with her time on the show, although she was set on not making any formal announcements about her future on Greys. “I’m feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell,” she said at the time.

Grey's Anatomy Season 15 returns to ABC on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

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