‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Ellen Pompeo Has This One Wish For When the Series Ends

ABC’s hit series Grey’s Anatomy just had their premiere last week to kickoff off Season 16. The medical drama continues to be a ratings gold mine, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Fans have no desire to see the show come to an end, though Grey’s central star has an idea of how she’d like the show to wrap.

Ellen Pompeo of "Grey's Anatomy"
“Grey’s Anatomy’s” Ellen Pompeo | Mitch Haaseth/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Past comments on the end of ‘Grey’s’

Ellen Pompeo has played the series’ focal character, Dr. Meredith Grey, since the show premiered in March 2005. Now also directing and serving as executive producer on the drama in addition to her lead role, Pompeo has got her eye on creative outlets outside of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. “I’m definitely starting to branch out and do other things with my time… I’m definitely itchy to try some other things,” the actress told E! News earlier this year.

While she’s pursuing other projects, Pompeo is still appreciative of what Grey’s allows her to do. “We’re having a great time. I’m enjoying feeling my success and this road that I’ve traveled, which isn’t a typical one for an actor,” she said. “Most actors would have peeled out by now…I never expected to be in this position on this show. I get to call a lot of shots, I have a lot of say.” 

Pompeo commented that the show will come to an end when it is mutually agreed upon by herself and show creator Shonda Rhimes. “I think Shonda has said publicly that we’ll decide collectively when to wrap it up, and we’ll end the show together,” Pompeo revealed. “I don’t think she has any plans to continue the show without me, or any of the originals for that matter… but who knows, it’s Hollywood. They can kick you out any time they want… but I think she has said publicly that we’d like to end this together, and her and I and the other three originals that are on the show—Jim Pickens, Chandra Wilson, and Justin Chambers—I think we’d like to sort of finish this together.” 

Pompeo’s ideal finale

The Grey’s Anatomy star is signed on to continue through Season 17. Pompeo wouldn’t comment on her status after her contract is up when she recently appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden, though she did allude to how she would like the final show to play out.

“I’d love to have some of the old cast come back, the original cast is just like…” Pompeo told Corden, putting her hand to her heart. Many viewers suspected she was likely referring to cast members like Sandra Oh, Patrick Dempsey, T.R. Knight, and Katherine Heigl. “But that probably won’t happen, but that would be the most amazing way to [end it].”

When Corden asked why it won’t happen, she reminded him, “Some of them were killed on the show!”

Wanting to please ‘Grey’s’ fans

Pompeo went on to note that ending such a beloved show comes with a high expectation, where it’s impossible to please every viewer. “The ending, the final episode, matters so much. Are you kidding me?” she said, according to Entertainment Tonight.. “And the fans are never going to be happy, no matter what — Sopranos, Game of Thrones. They’re pissed no matter what you do. So, there’s a lot of pressure on that final episode.”

For now, Pompeo is focused on Season 16 and all that comes with it. “You know, the fun thing about doing a show for 16 years and having a loyal, amazing, fantastic audience is we can really just play and have fun,” Pompeo said, as reported by Glamour

Watch ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday nights!