Not Ellen Pompeo?
As Grey’s Anatomy prepares to air its 19th season (!!!!!) on Thursday night, host Krista Vernoff sat down with Variety to study the subject on the minds of fans across the country:
Is Ellen Pompeo really gone?!?
As you probably know by now, the lead actress will only appear in eight episodes this fall, winter, and spring—starting with the October 6 premiere.
Pompeo will soon star and executive produce the series for Hulu, while also planning the project through his production company, Calamity Jane.
“She has so many projects in development as a producer, and Hulu projects as an actress,” Vernoff explains now to Variety.
“And he is very excited to spread his wings, and we want to support him in that – while he will always be in the fabric of our show.”
But will he always be on the show?
Hence why Vernoff and his colleagues chose to take what he describes here as a “big and bold swing” by bringing in five new series regulars — Harry Shum Jr., Adelaide Kane, Alexis Floyd, Midori Francis, and Niko Terho. — to play the five new apprentices.
“The blood of the show — the lifeblood, the early success — is about the impact of trying to be a surgeon when you don’t know what you’re doing,” the producer told Variety, comparing this upcoming season to earlier years. from Grey’s Anatomy.
Still, the show is called GRAY’S Anatomy?
Can it really continue if Pompeo exits completely at some point?
“I think this show has legs,” Vernoff replied.
“I think Ellen is amazing, and she has been at the center of this amazing show for a very long time. And if his career takes him in any other direction, I believe that we have a show here with lots of amazing characters our fans will love.
“And this new apprentice class is really interesting.”
As for the reason Meredith won’t be seen much this year?
And why would he one day be able to leave completely?
“When you have a woman who has a job she loves, a career she loves, a man she loves, what might take her out of the main story?” Vernoff asked Variety rhetorically.
“And my answer to that is: his children.
“Something happened with her children that changed her life plans. And as a mother, I resonate with that.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 8/7c on ABC.