‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Will Ellen Pompeo Be the Last OG Cast Member Standing?

Ellen Pompeo pretty much is Grey’s Anatomy. She’s the show’s star, and it’s named for her character. She’s also one of the few cast members who has appeared consistently in all of the show’s 15 seasons.  

She’s even gone so far as to say the show will end when she retires. That’s pretty definitive.

While we hope Ellen decides to stay on for a while longer, most of her other Season 1 castmates have moved on. When the new season premieres this fall, will she be the only veteran left?

Ellen Pompeo won’t be the only OG cast member returning for season 16

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo | Mitch Haaseth/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

While we don’t know what the season will hold for them, we do know that Ellen Pompeo will be joined by a few members of her OG crew for the new season. Season 15 ended on a cliffhanger, so fans might not be sure what to expect when season 16 picks up.  

According to a recent article in Business Times, there won’t be any gaps left uncovered. The show will pick up from where it left off, but that doesn’t mean the OG cast members are sure to stay on.

James Pickens Jr. has a warning for fans

It seems like Dr. Richard Webber will be back for Season 16, based on a recent interview with James Pickens Jr. However, he wants fans to be prepared. He may be hinting at retirement for his character, who has been a staple of the show since the very beginning.  

James Pickens Jr. is one of the few actors to appear in every episode of the show. That means he’s been in more than 300 episodes, with more to come in season 16.  

Considering how much he makes per episode, Pickens probably has enough saved for a comfortable retirement. When the show started, he was making more than $100,000 per episode. While bigger stars like Sandra Oh were making more, he has stayed on longer.  

Dr. Richard Webber was fired at the end of season 15, along with two other OG cast members, Ellen Pompeo and Justin Chambers. While we know James will appear as Richard Webber in season 16, it could be that Dr. Webber will see this as his chance to retire.  

Drs. Alex Karev and Miranda Bailey will be back too

Justin Chambers, the model turned actor who plays Dr. Alex Karev, will also be back for Season 16. Even though his character was also fired at the end of season 15, showrunners say there are good things in store for him. He should see some resolution to his relationship issues, and hopefully he’ll get his job back. 

 Dr. Miranda Bailey, played by Chandra Wilson, will also be returning to the show for Season 16. She’s one of four actors who has appeared in every episode of the show.

While we’re not sure what’s in store for her this season, she’s shown no signs of wanting to move on from the show. Why would she? She has a great character to work with, and at more than $100,000 an episode, it’s a hard gig to walk away from. 

Another OG cast member may be coming back

Showrunners have announced that they are trying to get another former cast member back on the show. While they haven’t announced who, it’s possible that Pompeo will have another member of the OG crew back on the show with her.  

We’ll soon know what will happen to the gang, and who the returning cast member will be. While it’s hard to wait, season 16 seems like it is going to be worth it. The first episode premieres on September 26.