Ellen Pompeo takes a step back, but does not cancel “Grey’s Anatomy”

Before she has to disarm another bomb during surgery or is crushed under the debris of the plane crash, Ellen Pompeo is apparently laying the groundwork for her eventual exit from “Grey’s Anatomy.”

The actor, who is also an executive producer on the long-running ABC drama, would downsize her role as Meredith Gray for the upcoming 19th season, in which she will only appear in eight episodes, according to several outlets.

Pompeo, however, will continue to serve as the narrator for each episode, Deadline notes, ensuring that his presence will be deeply felt in the halls of Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Episode orders have ranged between 17 and 24 in the last few seasons of the medical series, which has aired 400 historical episodes to date.

Although Pompeo has been featured in almost every single episode, his role has been shrinking over the years. Last season, Meredith was heavily sidelined for multiple episodes due to storylines involving COVID-19 and a potential move to Minnesota, where she is working on a clinical trial.

But Pompeo renewed his multimillion-dollar contract in January, signing a new deal with ABC, which, of course, has a vested interest in extending “Grey’s Anatomy,” as the series remains the best-rated performance on the network.

As for the future of the series, Deadline reports that “there is still no decision as to whether season 19 would be the last for Pompeo as the protagonist”, but there is talk of “being able to extend the franchise with a new spin-off of the drama. doctor “if the star officially starts.

Meanwhile, Pompeo is embarking on his first major acting project in years, which is at least partly responsible for his breakup from the ABC drama.

He will star and executive produce a new, currently untitled limited series for Hulu, which has received an eight-episode order from the streamer.

Inspired by real events, the show centers on a Midwestern couple adopting a boy “they believe she is an 8-year-old girl with a rare form of dwarfism,” according to Variety.

“But when they start raising her along with their three biological children, they slowly begin to believe that she may not be who she says she is,” the synopsis continues. “As they question her story, they are faced with tough questions about how much they are willing to do to defend themselves, falling into a battle that has been fought in the tabloids, in the courtroom and ultimately in their marriage.”