Ellen Pompeo Directing Grey's Anatomy Season 13

Grey's Anatomy: Ellen Pompeo Inks New Deal — Who's Still in Limbo?

The Grey is staying in Grey’s Anatomy, now that Ellen Pompeo has signed a new deal to continue on as Meredith.

Pompeo’s news — she earns north of $300,000/episode, our sister site Deadline notes — comes weeks after another long-running Grey’s star, Sara Ramirez, announced that she would not be back next season as Callie, choosing instead to take “some welcome time off.”

As previously reported by TVLine, Justin Chambers hinted at nearing a new deal back in March, while Kevin McKidd was optimistic about his future as Owen. Jessica Capshaw settled her own business a year ago, signing a multi-year deal with the stalwart medical drama, which this season was broadcast TV’s No. 3-rated drama, trailing only Empire and The X-Files.

Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, Jr. are among the other cast members who have yet to renew their deals for the fall.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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42 Comments
  1. Max says:

    After 12 seasons, #1 demo show on ABC that wouldn’t go on without her.. How is she not making more?

    • Guest says:

      I know this show has a large cast, but I’m also surprised at that number.

    • Maddie says:

      Perhaps she has a piece of the back end. But also keep in mind that this is not a syndication evergreen like Seinfeld or a Friends. As a serialized drama, it will have a much shorter syndication afterlife, and the salaries reflect that.

      • CC says:

        It’s already been in syndication for years, though, and likely generating new fans as a result. She definitely should be making more money, so I hope she has something on the back end.

        • Maddie says:

          “She definitely should be making more money”

          What are you basing this on? Syndication on Lifetime is not the same as syndication on local stations + cable. Syndication afterlife for serialized dramas is VERY low.

          Please enlighten us on what you think the proper salary for her is, based on comps and value of the series.

    • bigdede says:

      Good question especially since Shonda is so pro feminist. She writes her female characters as if she’s a feminist but she doesn’t act like a feminist when it comes to paying her VIP female actors

      • Wade says:

        Shonda has very little to do with how much they’re paid. I’m sure the network and studio value her opinion on which cast members are essential and those sorts of things, but its the network and studios money to use as they see fit.

      • Anna says:

        Lolz people just love to hate Shonda Rhimes. Even when it doesn’t make sense.
        I’m pretty sure networks determine salaries, not the showrunners.

    • MrScreenAddict says:

      Really? At $300,000 per episode — or $11.5 million per year — Pompeo was already the fourth highest-paid actress on all of television last year, after only The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco and Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara & Julie Bowen. (Figures courtesy of Forbes.) This new deal is likely to raise that amount significantly. How is that anti-feminist, exactly?

      • DarkDefender says:

        Your math is wonky dude, $300K for a 23 episode season comes in just under $7 mil.
        .
        Also with an ensemble cast, she probably only has a 4-5 day shooting schedule per episode.

    • haleygriffin says:

      Forbes reported that she was making 350,000/episode back in 2013. I can’t imagine her not getting a pay raise, especially with Grey’s being the top drama. The key words are “north of”.

      • EM says:

        I remember reading that figure from the Forbes article too. Three years later I suspect it is quite a bit more than that now. Just glad that she is staying.

      • Mary says:

        I don’t put much stock into what Forbes reports. I think at best it is an estimated figure unless someone from the celebrity camp gave them the actual figure, which honestly I don’t think happens often. Oh well, the truth is the show wouldn’t go on without her so she should be paid the highest salary.

    • Eh says:

      I was thing the same thing. Maybe she makes more with residuals?

    • tibrab says:

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  2. Lauren says:

    I just would not miss Bailey at this point. I hate saying that but her character as become so obnoxious. I’m not enjoying her as chief at all. It’s hard to imagine the show without Webber though.

    • Brian says:

      I feel as if he was contemplating retirement during the finale. That scene where he was waiting for the elevator and it opens and Catherine is there. I got the impression while he was waiting and looking around at everyone that he was thinking it was time to retire. He will always be the Chief to me, I can’t imagine the show without him either.

      • Ally Oop says:

        That scene was rather eerie for me. It gave me the feeling that that he was gonna die right away.

      • Wade says:

        There’s leeway with Bailey and Webber in that they could both become supporting characters and maintain a presence without appearing in every episode. Then if a Maggie or Warren story comes up that they need to be involved with, they can still be there for it.

    • bj says:

      I feel the same way about Bailey now. I don’t like her as Chief and everything seems to be about her marriage now. I will really miss Webber though if he leaves. He will always be the chief to me too, and he still seems to have more of a finger on the pulse of the hospital than Bailey does.

  3. ludi66 says:

    Oh it’s not the same without Derek and Christina and I can’t stand Derek’s sister.. You killed off Derek but bring back Christina. And the show would go on and on!

  4. Martijn Tulp says:

    Yeah, don’t want to be a… How should I say this in English…? Like a ‘Sundayfeminist’… But shouldn’t Ellen Pompeo be making WAY more than 300k per episode?

    • Maddie says:

      This isn’t Friends or Seinfeld or Big Bang. It won’t have an extensive post-ABC run. The salary reflects that.

    • rowan77 says:

      I agree, but the show has a HUGE cast and Mer doesn’t always take a leading role in the storylines. This season she has, but in past seasons Mer sometimes takes a backseat to other dramas, so I think she is being paid like a member of the ensemble more than the clear lead. Although I’m betting her salary outstrips everyone else’s on the show, by far.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Huge ensemble. And dramas don’t sell nearly as well into syndication/DVD as comedies.

        • Wade says:

          Matt’s reasoning makes sense (that there’s a huge cast, which include many people who have been around as long or nearly as long as Ellen, and that dramas aren’t as lucrative in syndication as procedurals or comedies), but I had no idea they were that much less lucrative. In fact, I remember reading nearly five years ago (on this site, I believe) that Mariska Hargitay would earn over half a million per episode, but I guess Law and Order: SVU is one of the highest performing shows in syndication, and that definitely has a smaller cast.

  5. bigdede says:

    We need Richard. This show needs an older father figure around. Also it’s so stupid, imo, that they haven’t worked on Maggie and Richard’s relationship. They need to fix Bailey but we need her. It’s Owen this show doesn’t need. Him and his forever always look like he’s crying face can go! This whole season was about him yelling at Riggs and blaming Riggs for him having gas. I’m so over him.

    • Ally Oop says:

      Here’s how I’d rank the characters in order of least expendable to most expendable:
      Meredith
      Alex
      Richard
      Arizona
      Jackson
      April
      Callie*
      Jo
      Ben
      Owen
      Amelia
      Nathan
      Stephanie
      Bailey
      Deluca
      Maggie

      • Wade says:

        Being Meredith, Richard and Ellis’ blood relative and the only other cast member who shares the Alzheimer’s gene with Meredith, Maggie actually ties back into the premise of the very beginning of the series and will likely carry on as the “Grey” in Grey’s Anatomy should Ellen ever leave the show (she doesn’t have the last name, but she’s Ellis’ daughter), so she’s the furthest thing from expendable.

        • Stacy says:

          I like Maggie and like her backstory with Meredith, Richard & Ellis, but I’m fairly certain that when Ellen Pompeo decides to leave then this show will be cancelled, ensemble or not.
          .
          This show is Meredith’s world, her stratosphere.

          • Jessica says:

            Shonsa said when Ellen is done. She is too.
            This is Meredith’s story and started with her it should end with her too.

      • Anna says:

        Switch Maggie and Arizona, and you have yourself a list. With Lexie, Cristina, and Derek being gone, and with Amelia being a hot mess, Maggie is the family that Meredith needs (obviously alongside Alex). And we’ve seen Meredith rally grow to depend on her, especially with her children.

  6. Sara says:

    Yess. More of my favorite character!!!

    Ellen deserves everything. ;)

  7. mortimer says:

    get Derek back or a twin,get rid of the sister, bring Cristina back, the show has been boring for the past 2 seasons, not worth recording

  8. april-ann says:

    Not surprising at all. She’s the biggest Shonda suck up on the planet.

  9. cdeno says:

    How long is the contract? just 1 year?

  10. Andrew Hass says:

    I’m happy by this news and i’m sure all the other people will sign new deals too.As for why Ellen Pompeo earns so little maybe she has bonuses in her contract should Grey’s reach a certain amount of milestones or whatever.

  11. Azerty says:

    First I was glad she was back. Then I was sad when I realised it would take me 10 years at my current job to have what she has for only one episode…

  12. matty says:

    I kind if think it is time for Richard Webber to get killed off.

  13. Cas says:

    I mean she still makes a lot. I would be happy with just 300,000 a year. 😂

    • Jamie says:

      Lolz, right? How dare they pay her only $7 million a year! While working around 4 days a week because of this huge cast with a built in yearly 3-4 month break? How will she feed her children?