Ellen Pompeo was the heart and soul of Grey’s Anatomy for two decades. She was also the title character! It was hard to imagine a world in which the show would go on without Meredith Grey at the center, but Pompeo announced her plans to leave in season 19, even though she would still be providing the narration at the beginning and end of each episode.
It’s a credit to the show’s ensemble cast that it has managed to stay strong, but just when fans thought that they’d seen the last of Meredith Grey, the show’s executive producer, Debbie Allen, revealed that she would be returning for multiple appearances in season 20!
Meredith Grey will return for the Grey’s Anatomy season 20 premiere
Allen, who also plays Dr. Catherine Avery, told TV Insider that Pompeo would be putting the scrubs back on for the season 20 premiere and handful of other cameos throughout the season.
“Miss Thing is there, honey,” Allen assured the outlet. “She’s in the first episode, and she’s in the one I’m going to direct. We have to let her go and do some other things, but she’s still our queen. She’s still our No. 1 on the call sheet.”
Pompeo talked about her decision for leaving Grey’s Anatomy during a 2022 appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show. She clarified that she had nothing but happy memories from her time on the medical drama, but that she wanted to change things up after nearly twenty years.
“I gotta mix it up a little bit,” the actress explained. “I’m 53, my brain is like scrambled eggs. I gotta do something new. You can’t do The New York Times crossword puzzle every single day. I mean 19 years, that’s more than people keep their kids in their house. People keep their kids in their house until they’re 18 and then they send them off to college, so this is like me like going away to college.”
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Pompeo has indeed been spreading her wings in the year since her official Grey’s exit. She filmed an untitled series for Hulu in which she also served as the executive producer. The series has yet to receive a release date, according to Digital Spy, but it will contain eight episodes and be based on the real story of a Midwestern couple who adopts what they think is an 8-year-old girl with a unique form of dwarfism.
That being said, Pompeo will never stray far from her Grey’s roots. She remains an executive producer on the show, and has even made guest appearances on the spin-off Station 19. We’re not sure where her character is at in life, but we’re excited to find out when the show returns on March 14, 2024.
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