It's hard to imagine a time before Grey's Anatomy — a time when ER was the premiere medical drama, names like "McDreamy" were just plain nonsense, and Shonda Rhimes was best known as the woman behind Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads. Now, according to Ellen Pompeo, who plays the titular character on the ABC series, it's very possible that Grey's Anatomy is coming to an end — and much sooner than you may think.
Grey's Anatomy is currently entering season 15, which will begin on September 27. According to Pompeo, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the upcoming season could be the show's penultimate.
"I’m clearly not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell," Pompeo told EW of continuing the series past season 16, when her contract is due to expire. "It's about time that I mix it up. I'm definitely looking for a change."
While this isn't the definitive word on the end of Grey's Anatomy, it should be seen as a big, flashing neon sign that the show is on its way out. In her essay for The Hollywood Reporter on pay parity, Pompeo (who will make a whopping $20 million dollars a season moving forward) admitted that she had a conversation about the end of the series with creator Rhimes after the TV queen signed her huge deal with Netflix.
"What happened is that I went to Shonda and I said, 'If you're moving on to Netflix and you want the show to go down, I'm cool with that. But if you want it to continue, I need to be incentivized. I need to feel empowered and to feel ownership of this show.' And she was like, 'I absolutely want to keep the show going. It's the mothership, so let's find a way to make you happy. What do you want?'"
What Pompeo — who is incapable of taking other acting roles due to her 24-episode count on Grey's Anatomy — wanted was money, which obviously, she received a lot of. But considering that the actress proclaimed in the THR piece that acting is now "boring" for her, it's very possible that she'll take the cash she's due and find something that excites her more than a 17th season of Grey's.
As for fans, well — with hundreds of episodes in the arsenal already, I think we can forgive our star doc for moving on.
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