Ellen Pompeo Reveals The Status Of Meredith Grey In ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 20

Is Ellen Pompeo returning as Meredith Grey' in 'Grey's Anatomy' season 20? The actress weighs in about her future on the show.

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Grey’s Anatomy fans were left reeling when Meredith Grey moved to Boston in the middle of season 19. Ellen Pompeo appeared in only a handful of the season’s episodes, including the season finale. Now that the show has been renewed for season 20, fans have been wondering how big of a role Meredith has in the upcoming season.

Ellen Pompeo Katherine Heigl
Ellen Pompeo and Katherine Heigl on the cover of ‘Variety.’ (Greg Swales for Variety)

“I will be making some appearances hopefully next year, if I can find some time,” Ellen told former co-star Katherine Heigl during Variety’s Actors on Actors conversation. Ellen is set to film the Hulu limited series titled The Orphan in the fall, and the project will be her first new role in 18 years.

Katherine asked Ellen about what her “last day” on set as a series regular. “It’s a little bit of trickery because I’m not completely gone,” Ellen explained. “Actually, the storyline is very cool. There’s a lot of real research that’s changing very rapidly about Alzheimer’s disease and about what they believe is the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s pretty controversial. So Meredith’s character left to go to Boston because her daughter needed to go to a special school.”

Back in September 2022, Ellen spoke with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about stepping outside of Grey Sloan for the first time in nearly 2 decades. “I’m so excited. I feel really happy and grateful that the company gave me an opportunity to do something different with my new limited series,” Ellen said.

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo in the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ season 19 finale. (ABC)

At the end of season 19, some of our Grey’s faves traveled to Boston for the Catherine Fox Award ceremony. Meredith revealed that the entire trajectory of her Alzheimer’s research is changing. She also had an honest conservation with Nick, and they both admitted that they wanted to be together.

Ellen isn’t the first Grey’s Anatomy star to leave the hit series. Over the course of the show’s 19-season run, several series regulars have exited, including Katherine. “I was up here in my head, in my gut, in my mind, in my life. I was just vibrating at way too high of a level of anxiety,” Katherine told Ellen about how she was feeling when she left the show in 2010. “For me, it’s all a bit of a blur, and it took me years to learn how to deal with that, to master it. I can’t even say that I’ve mastered it, but to even know to work on it, that anxiety and fear — and stress is stress. And if you leave stress too long, unmanaged, and unaddressed, it can be debilitating.”