Ellen Pompeo and the show's creator Shonda Rhimes will continue to serve as executive producers.
Viewers have tuned into episodes of Grey's Anatomy for 19 seasons anticipating to see Meredith Grey trying to juggle her professional and personal life, but that is about to change. Meredith, played by Ellen Pompeo, revealed her intention to leave Grey Sloan and go to Boston with her kids in the midseason finale that aired on Thursday, Nov.
According to TODAY, Ellen Pompeo addressed her departure from Grey's Anatomy in a social media post dedicated to the show's fans on Thursday. "I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!" the actress, 53, wrote in an Instagram post. She scribbled her message next to a photo of herself seated in front of the neon-pink sign, "All you need is love." She added, "Through it all….none of it …would have been possible without the best fans in the world."
She continued addressing her fans and suggesting she may return. She wrote, “I love you madly and appreciate you right back. This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit.” She concluded the post by offering her "immense gratitude" to her fans.
There was some surprise at the revelation. Ellen Pompeo will play a smaller part for the first time since the show's debut in 2005, according to Variety from the month before the season aired. When the long-running drama returns in 2023, Pompeo will only appear in two more episodes because she committed to eight episodes this season. This will be the first time Grey's Anatomy moves its primary attention to the other doctors and residents, while viewers will still recognize Pompeo's voice in Meredith's narrators, a series mainstay.
Pompeo, 53, and the show's creator Shonda Rhimes will continue to serve as executive producers. “I’m an executive producer. I spent two decades of my career on [Grey’s Anatomy] — it’s my heart and soul. I’ll never truly be gone as long as [it’s] on the air,” she told Deadline in September. Pompeo is anticipated to return to Grey's Anatomy for the Season 19 finale, according to Deadline.
By introducing a new batch of interns this season, the show has been gradually prepping viewers for Meredith's departure. Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. are the final two surviving original cast members after Pompeo reduced the number of her episodes. Pompeo joins a long list of performers who have said goodbye to Grey's Anatomy, including Justin Chambers, Jesse Williams, Patrick Dempsey, Sara Ramirez, Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh, and more.
Cover Image Source: IMDb | Richard Cartwright/ABC