Ellen Pompeo Wanted ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ To End Long Before She Announced She Was Leaving

Nov 21, 2022 by apost team

Ellen Pompeo may be hanging up her scrubs after playing Dr. Meredith Grey on the hit medical dramedy “Grey’s Anatomy” for 19 seasons but that doesn’t mean she plans to fade from the spotlight anytime soon. Even before announcing she was leaving the show on Nov. 17, 2022, she had already launched her passion project in 2021 – a podcast called “Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo,” in which she hosts discussions with public figures.

Pompeo got her big break as the wide-eyed junior doctor navigating work, life and love on “Grey’s Anatomy,” which debuted in March 2005. It was an immediate hit with audiences, who lapped up every moment of her character’s hits and misses. Most notable were Grey’s romantic dalliances, particularly with Dr. Derek Shepard, dubbed “McDreamy,” played by Patrick Dempsey. Alongside Pompeo, the series made household names of many other stars who have come and gone on the “Grey’s Anatomy” set, including Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Jessica Capshaw, Eric Dane and Jesse Williams

While the show’s popularity and longevity were a boon for its producers, Pompeo had expressed her desire to see the series wrap up. In December 2021, she said she may have been the only one who wanted to see the show end.

“​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?'" she told Business Insider. "And everyone's like, 'Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.'"

However, that didn’t stop her from pursuing other projects, eventually culminating in her podcast. Having featured personalities such as Dempsey, model Cindy Crawford and Martha Stewart, Pompeo said she hoped to make the show “a place of listening, learning, and growth.” 

Ellen Pompeo (2016), (Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

While Pompeo is happy to “introduce and highlight people from all different backgrounds and industries and create a space for thoughtful conversation” with her podcast, her departure from “Grey’s Anatomy” marked the end of an era for long-time fans. In her announcement via Instagram that revealed she was leaving the show, the star cited their immense support for how far the show had come.

“I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!” she wrote, adding “Through it all….none of it …would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You all are RIDERS and you all have made the ride so fun and ICONIC!! I love you madly and appreciate you right back.”

Shonda Rhimes, the showrunner of “Grey’s Anatomy,” also took to Instagram to pay tribute to the star. She wrote: “What a wild ride these past 19 seasons have been. None of it could have been possible without the incomparable @ellenpompeo, the one and only Meredith Grey.” However, Rhimes also hinted that this may not be the last we see of Dr. Grey.

“This isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see ya later! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ellen, Meredith and Grey Sloan Memorial,” Rhimes added.

Pompeo, too, intimated she wasn’t walking away completely from the show, as she wrote in her post: “This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit.”

While we’re happy to see Pompeo move on to bigger and better things, we can’t wait to see her back roaming the halls and elevators of Seattle Grace — even just for a little while.


Are you sad to see Ellen Pompeo leave “Grey’s Anatomy” after 19 years? Are you a fan of the show? Let us know and be sure to pass this on to friends and family, too.

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