Woah! 'Grey's Anatomy' Reduces Star Ellen Pompeo's Appearances in Season 19

The doctor is not in. Ellen Pompeo will take a reduced role on Grey’s Anatomy, reportedly only appearing in a handful of episodes as Dr. Meredith Grey in season 19.

Everything Ellen Pompeo Has Said About How Long She’ll Stay on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

The actress, 52, will continue to executive produce and narrate every episode, but she will physically appear on screen in a “limited capacity,” TVLine reported on Wednesday, August 3. Pompeo is set to star in just eight episodes. A season of Grey’s Anatomy typically has between 20 and 24 episodes.

ABC announced in January that the medical drama was renewed and Pompeo — one of three remaining original cast members, along with Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. — would return for season 19.

The renewal came weeks after Pompeo made headlines in December 2021 for saying she’d “been trying to focus on convincing everybody that [Grey’s] should end.”

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Behind-the-Scenes Drama: A Timeline

During an interview with Insider, she noted, “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?’ Everyone’s like, ‘Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.’”

In May, the Boston native hinted that instead of trying to end the show, she was trying to figure out how Grey’s could survive without her.

Shonda [Rhimes] and I, I think — we’ll see, we’ll see,” told Entertainment Tonight at the time of whether the show will last without her in the future. “Trying to reinvent the show and continually trying to reinvent the show is the challenge at this point.”

She added, “Listen, the show speaks to a lot of people, and the young people love the show. It’s inspired so many generations of healthcare workers, so, I think for the young people, it’s a really good piece of content and we’re going to try to keep it going for the young people, not necessarily with me, but keep it going beyond me.”

Every Time ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Stars Spoke Up About Ellen Pompeo Leaving Show

Grey’s Anatomy season 19 premieres on ABC Thursday, October 6, at 9 p.m. ET.

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