Ellen Pompeo feels the time is near for Grey’s Anatomy to be discharged from primetime. It’s the bean counters who apparently beg to differ.
“I’ve been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end,” the long-running medical drama’s star and co-EP recently told Insider. “I feel like I’m the super naive one who keeps saying, ‘But what’s the story going to be, what story are we going to tell?’ And everyone’s like, ‘Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.'”
We can’t speak for the “gazillion dollars,” but the fact is that among the seven dramas ABC aired this fall, Grey’s — despite being down sharply year-over-year — ranks No. 1 in the demo and trails only Station 19 in total audience. And among all ABC programming, only Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelorette scored a higher rating.
What’s more, with Live+7 DVR playback factored in, Grey’s Anatomy‘s 1.3 demo rating trails only Fox’s 9-1-1, out of all broadcast dramas. And that, folks, is currency.
More than a year ago, Pompeo added fuel to the “Is Grey’s nearing the finish line?!” fire when she ventured that Season 17 “very well could” be the end, adding, “I mean, this is the last year of my contract right now… I don’t know that this is the last year? But it could very well could be.”
It was not.
It was in May 2019 that Pompeo inked a headline-making contract that reportedly paid her north of $550,000 per episode. She reportedly received another significant salary increase for the current season, which just aired its winter finale (and resumes Feb. 24, 2022).
All along, Pompeo has said that the mystery of Grey’s‘ longevity lies in the answer to the question, “What story do we tell?” And if there is none left, how does such a beloved show come to a satisfying end?
“To end a show this iconic… how do we do it?” Pompeo mused this past March. “I just want to make sure we do this character and this show and the fans… I want to make sure we do it right.”
Are you prepared for Grey’s to scrub out? Should this season be the end?