Ellen Pompeo Stepping Back From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ For 1st Time In 17 Years To Star In New Show

Ellen Pompeo will reportedly appear in less than half of the episodes in the next season on 'Grey's Anatomy.' Instead, she'll be executive producing and starring in a new limited series on Hulu.

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Image Credit: Gilles Mingasson/ABC/Kobal/Shutterstock

Ellen Pompeo has signed onto a new television series which will have a major impact on her role in Grey’s Anatomy. The 52-year-old actress is set to executive produce and star in an orphan-themed limited series on Hulu, according to TVLine and Variety. This means Ellen will reportedly appear in only 8 of the 20-23 episodes slated for Season 19 of Grey’s which premieres Oct. 6. She’ll continue to narrate every episode and serve as an EP on the medical drama. Still, there’s going to be a lot less Dr. Meredith Grey than ever before.

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo in ‘Greys Anatomy’ (Photo: Gilles Mingasson/ABC/Kobal/Shutterstock)

Ellen’s new show, per TVLine, is “inspired by the true story of a Midwestern couple who adopts what they believe is an 8-year-old girl with a rare form of dwarfism. But as they begin to raise her alongside their three biological children, they slowly start to believe she may not be who she says she is. As they question her story, they’re confronted with hard questions of their own about the lengths they’re willing to go to defend themselves, falling into a battle that’s fought in the tabloids, the courtroom, and ultimately their marriage.” The series will consist of eight episodes with Katie Robbins writing and executing producing alongside Ellen.

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo (Photo: Jason Merritt/Radarpics/Shutterstock)

This is game-changing news for the future of Grey’s. Ellen has be the main star of the show since the beginning in 2005. But lately the actress has hinted at wanting to be done with the show for good. “I mean, I’ve been trying to get away for years,” she told Entertainment Tonight in 2021 at the Emmys. “I have been trying. It’s not because I haven’t been trying. I have strong relationships at the network and they have been very, very good to me, and have incentivized me to stay.” She added, “Miraculously, we keep coming up with ways to have a reason to stay and if there’s a reason, that warrants it.”

In Meredith’s absence, the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial will really have to step it up in the new season. Stars Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Caterina Scorsone, Camilla Luddington, Kelly McCreary, Kim Raver, and Chris Carmack are all expected to return for the new season. New cast members confirmed include Harry Shum Jr., Alexis Floyd, Niko Terho, and more.

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