Meredith will not be among those hooking up as part of Grey’s Anatomy‘s “Season of Love.”
ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey instead says that Ellen Pompeo‘s alter ego will remain single for the foreseeable future — this despite the ABC drama going all in on romance this year.
“Meredith [is going to] have a new trajectory that is more focused on who she is as a single mother and surgeon” — including her “emotional” investigation “into a medical condition that is very close to her own family background and history,” the exec told TVLine Tuesday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour. “Ellen has spoken very loudly about how she doesn’t want all of Meredith’s adventures to be romantic ones.”
Dungey is referring, of course, to the bombshell interview Pompeo gave to The Hollywood Reporter last January, in which she took ABC brass to task for so quickly pairing Mer with a new man (Martin Henderson’s Nathan) after the death of Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy. “The ink wasn’t even dry on [Patrick’s] exit papers before they rushed in a new guy,” Pompeo lamented. “I was on vacation in Sicily, decompressing… and they’re calling me, going, “What do you think of this guy?” “What do you think of this guy?” And they’re sending pictures. I was like, “Are you people f–king nuts? Why do you feel that you have to replace this person?’ I couldn’t believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a penis in there.”
Dungey did not completely rule out a new relationship for Meredith. “I’m not saying no,” she insisted. “I think we’ll get there [eventually]. I’m just saying that she’s on a trajectory that is very much about her evolution as a doctor and a parent. There’s been a lot of dating, and I think [Ellen’s] excited — we’re all excited — to explore some different aspects of the character.”
Asked why Grey’s didn’t further explore the palpable chemistry between Pompeo and Season 14 guest star Scott Speedman by bringing his Dr. Nick Marsh back, Dungey responded, “That’s a question more for [series creator] Shonda [Rhimes] and [showrunner] Krista [Vernoff] because I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, but I agree. I thought that was a fun relationship. But, ultimately, we decided not to keep going with it.”