If you’re thinking of coming for Ellen Pompeo over her decision to go part-time at Grey’s Anatomy, don’t; her castmates aren’t having it. “Ellen has been the captain of this ship all these years, and she’s about to start producing,” Kevin McKidd tells E! News’ Daily Pop, “so she needed to make room in her schedule for that.”
As TVLine reported earlier this month, Pompeo, who last January extended her deal with the venerable ABC medical drama through the upcoming 19th season, will continue to narrate the show but will only appear in a “limited capacity” — said to be just eight episodes (or less than half of the roughly 20-23 that will be produced). In her newly free time, she will be producing and starring in an as-yet-untitled limited series for Hulu.
“The fact that she’s not leaving the show and is just scaling back a bit” really impresses McKidd, who adds, “What I think is beautiful about it is it shows her love for the show still.”
In an interview with Extra, Jesse Williams seconds that emotion. “That woman has worked so hard all year, every year, for the last 20 years building that franchise globally,” he says. “Any time off she gets is well-earned.”
Besides, Williams is confident that Grey’s Anatomy has a plan to fill the void left by Meredith’s occasional absence. “I’m sure they have something creative up their sleeve,” he says. No doubt, it includes the series’ slew of new hires. “We have these new amazing interns,” McKidd notes, and those incoming doctors will be pumping “new blood in the show.” (Read more about them here.)
Season 19 of Grey’s Anatomy kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 9/8c.