Last fall, Ellen Pompeo sent Grey’s Anatomy fans into cardiac arrest when she intimated that she’s itching to bid Meredith adieu next season when her current contract expires. But during an interview on the ABC drama’s set earlier this month, the actress was singing a slightly different tune.
“I keep saying, ‘I’m ready to move on and I want to stop the show before the ratings go down,’ but the ratings never go down!” she exclaims with a laugh. “They go down a little bit, but the fact that we are able to hold our [title as ABC’s No. 1 series] is kind of [incredible]. It’s very cool to have these kind of ratings and be on a hit network show in this [Peak TV] landscape.”
Pompeo — who is approaching the midway point of her blockbuster two-year, $20 million deal — says she knows she has a good thing going at Grey’s. “It’s pretty nice place to work,” she admits. “I like my situation here. As much as the idea of something new appeals to me… the truth is I have three kids. I don’t really want to travel and leave [them]. I don’t want to be a circus traveller and live in hotels. And the network and studio continue to incentivize me and just make me offers that I can’t refuse.”
It’s also not lost on the actress that should she decide not to re-up with the show in 2020, it would likely bring about the end of Grey’s altogether. (Her character’s name is in the title of the show, after all.) “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about how many people have stable jobs [at Grey’s],” Pompeo notes. “In this town you don’t get a lot of 24-episodes-a-season shows. So the fact that this crew gets to film 24 episodes – that’s 10 months of work – and they get to stay in LA [is remarkable].”
Translation: Pompeo remains undecided about her Grey’s future. “I’m contracted through Season 16,” she states. “And beyond that… I don’t really know. I take it day-by-day.”
Grey’s Anatomy resumes its current 15th season this Thursday at 8/7c.