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‘Grey’s Anatomy’: New Fan Theory Predicts Meredith’s Exit From Grey Sloan, Plus Possible ‘One Chicago’ Potential

The ‘Grey's Anatomy’ season 18 premiere finally had Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) out of a hospital bed. But that didn't mean she was back in the operating room at Grey Sloan. And, according to one fan theory, Meredith is definitely on her way out. But that paves the way for ‘One Chicago’ potential.


  • The season 18 premiere of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ found Meredith Grey out of a hospital bed and getting job offers out of state from Peter Gallagher
  • Ellen Pompeo has opened up multiple times about the possibility of leaving ‘Grey’s’ and the end of the show
  • A new fan theory predicts that ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is preparing for a world without Meredith Grey and the possibility of adding a police procedural similar to ‘One Chicago’
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy in a shot from January 6, 2020
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy | Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images

The Grey’s Anatomy season 18 premiere finally had Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) out of a hospital bed. But that didn’t mean she was back in the operating room at Grey Sloan.

Instead, the first post-pandemic episode had Meredith traveling to Minnesota and receiving a job offer that looks pretty hard to refuse. Will Meredith leave Grey Sloan for good? Will Grey’s Anatomy end after season 18?

According to one fan theory, Meredith is definitely on her way out. But that paves the way for “One Chicago” potential.

Ellen Pompeo has talked about the end of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Grey’s Anatomy is the longest-running medical drama in the history of television, passing ER a long time ago. The series has been a staple of the ABC primetime lineup since 2005. With Pompeo being one of only three series regulars left in the cast.

In the past, Pompeo has said her dream Grey’s Anatomy ending would involve the return of original characters. So when Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) popped up in season 17, many fans theorized that the final season of Grey’s Anatomy was on its way.

Entertainment Tonight asked Pompeo on the Emmy red carpet if those theories had any merit, she confirmed that they were “not far off.”

Ellen Pompeo has been ‘trying to get away’ from Meredith Grey

Pompeo confessed that she’s “been trying to get away” from Grey’s Anatomy for years. But ABC keeps dishing out the cash. Currently, she’s the highest-paid actress in a network drama series, making $20 million per season as the series star and executive producer.

“I mean, I’ve been trying to get away for years,” Pompeo said and laughed. “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 good to me and incentivized me to stay.”

Pompeo added that “as long as there’s something to do” creatively, she will remain on Grey’s Anatomy. She says that “miraculously,” they keep coming up with reasons for her to continue. And, she’ll be back for season 19 “if there’s a reason that warrants it.”

New fan theory predicts Meredith’s exit from Grey Sloan this season on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Fans can’t imagine Grey’s Anatomy without Meredith. But, could there be a way for Pompeo to exit the series, still make money as a producer, and keep telling stories from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital? According to one fan theory posted on the Grey’s Anatomy subReddit, that’s exactly what’s happening in season 18.

“Meredith will spend the entire 18th season in Minnesota and will stay there,” u/WarlowBailey wrote. “Just as in season 17, Meredith stayed away from Grey Sloan’s medical cases because she was in a coma, this season she will also stay away, working on a cure for Parkinson’s.”

Preparing for a series without Meredith

The fan continues, “In the end, she will make it, and will move for good to Minnesota with her children. The idea of ​​Krista Vernoff, Ellen, and ABC executives is to get us used to a medical series without Meredith.”.

This would mean the end of what fans know as Grey’s Anatomy. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean this would be the end of all the characters at Grey Sloan.

Could ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ transform into part of Shondra Rhimes’ version of  ‘One Chicago’?

The next part of the fan theory posits that Grey’s Anatomy will continue in the form of a spinoff. And, it will join Shonda Rhimes’ other series Station 19 — and possibly a police procedural — to create a Seattle version of One Chicago.

“Next season, the series will continue as a spin-off called Grey Sloan Hospital, without Ellen Pompeo, who will only be Executive Producer and perhaps without any other more expensive actors,” the fan theorized. “Maybe a police procedural TV series will debut too, to accompany Grey Sloan Hospital and Station 19.”


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Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights on ABC.