Ellen Pompeo will only appear in eight episodes of Grey's Anatomy season 19

4 August 2022, 17:07

Ellen Pompeo opens up about Patrick Dempsey’s Grey’s Anatomy return

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Grey's Anatomy season 19 will be the first season where Meredith Grey has a limited role on the show.

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Ellen Pompeo is officially reducing her role as Meredith Grey in Grey's Anatomy season 19 in order to work on other projects

Ever since Grey's Anatomy debuted in 2005, the show has revolved around Ellen Pompeo's character Meredith Grey. In fact, alongside Chandra Wilson (Bailey) and James Pickens Jr. (Webber), Ellen is one of just three remaining main cast members still in the show. That being said, in recent years, Ellen has said that she's ready to leave Grey's Anatomy and move on.

READ MORE: Ellen Pompeo was "horrified" over Meredith's "Pick me" scene in Grey's Anatomy

Now, Ellen has confirmed that she will be taking a backseat and will only star in eight episodes of Grey's Anatomy season 19.

Is Ellen Pompeo leaving Grey's Anatomy?

Is Ellen Pompeo leaving Grey's Anatomy? Here's what she's said about season 19
Is Ellen Pompeo leaving Grey's Anatomy? Here's what she's said about season 19. Picture: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images, Scott Garfield/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

While Ellen will continue to narrate every episode of Grey's Anatomy in season 19, she will appear in considerably less of the episodes in order to star in Hulu's new limited series Orphan. Like the movie of the same name, the drama is inspired by the true story of two parents who claimed that their adopted daughter was an adult sociopath pretending to be a child.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly back in 2018, Ellen revealed that she was "looking for a change" in her career. She said: "I'm clearly not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I'm really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell."

Ellen also let slip on Ladies First with Laura Brown podcast in 2021 that she lost interest in acting. She explained: "I'm not saying I'll never act again but I'm not super excited about continuing my acting career. The acting, even though I haven't done a million different roles, I feel like I've done it."

It's currently unclear how Grey's Anatomy will explain Meredith's prolonged absence in season 19. However, fans needn't worry about the show ending just yet. As it stands, there are no plans for season 19 to be the last season and Ellen isn't leaving the show in any official capacity.


Ellen also recently revealed what changes she would make to Grey's Anatomy if she could on her Tell Me podcast. She said: "I think if I had any desire honestly it would be to be less sort of preachy in one episode about certain things. It's like, we do one episode about let's see... Asian hate crimes is one that we did this past season that was really moving."

She continued: "I think I'd like to see things happen a little more subtly and over time. You know, consistently and less sort of hit you over the head for just one hour and then we never talk about it again."

What do you think? Will Grey's Anatomy be the same with less Meredith?

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