Grey’s Anatomy premiered back in 2005 and is set to kick off its 17th season on November 12 on ABC.
And the show’s star Ellen Pompeo hinted that it might very well be the hit series’ last season.
The 50-year-old, who plays Dr. Meredith Grey on the longest running medical drama on television, said ‘We don’t know when the show is really ending yet. But the truth is, this year could be it,’ she said in her Variety cover story.
Clue? Grey’s Anatomy premiered back in 2005 and is set to kick off its 17th season on November 12. And the show’s star Ellen Pompeo hinted that it might very well be the hit series’ last season; pictured with her Grey’s Anatomy co-star Chandra Wilson, as well as showrunner Krista Vernoff and director Debbie Allen
Ellen posed on the cover of the magazine alongside her Grey’s Anatomy co-star Chandra Wilson, as well as showrunner Krista Vernoff and director Debbie Allen.
Grey’s Anatomy was created by Shonda Rhimes, with its first episode hitting TV screens March 27, 2005.
Shonda ended up leaving the ABC network; she announced her Shondaland production company was moving to Netflix in August 2017, after almost 15 years at ABC.
Shonda revealed last week she left because the limitations of TV versus streaming as well as its fast pace; but most notably an incident that led her to finally leave the network involved a debacle of a Disneyland pass, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In character: The 50-year-old, who plays Dr. Meredith Grey on the longest running medical drama on television, said ‘We don’t know when the show is really ending yet. But the truth is, this year could be it,’ she said in her Variety cover story
She appointed Krista herself as showrunner since season 14, after she was the head writer of the show for the first seven seasons, according to Variety.
Krista spoke out about the moment she realized the characters are driving the show not the surgeries they show.
She realized this during an early episode in season one: ‘My whole body was covered in chills. I was like, “Oh, we thought we are making a sweet little medical show – and we’re making a revolution.”‘
Season 17 will focus on the global COVID-19 pandemic, all while the show is filming under strict protocols.
Of the new season and pushing to make sure it continues to top itself every season, Ellen told the outlet: ‘I’m constantly fighting for the show as a whole to be as good as it can be. As a producer, I feel like I have permission to be able to do that.’
She added: ‘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 be.’
Krista alleged that former network president Steve McPherson ‘stonewalled’ with ‘pushback every step of the way’ prior to the premiere of the series as they were creating it, while then head of drama Suzanne Patmore Gibbs fought for the show.
Suzanne died in 2018.
Steve left the network in 2010 via resignation amid sexual harassment allegations, per the outlet.
Show: Krista spoke out about the moment she realized the characters are driving the show not the surgeries they show; seen in a 2005 image from the show
Krista said: ‘He just didn’t get it; he didn’t like it. Honestly, I’m going to say, I don’t think he liked the ambitious women having sex unapologetically.’
During that time, Chandra, who plays Miranda Bailey on the show, said ‘We took a creative break around the Christmas holiday, which to me meant “Oh, we’re out of a job.”‘
Ellen added: ‘Once we finally got an airdate, two weeks before that airdate they wanted to change the title of the show to “Complications.”‘
Variety noted that they emailed Steve for comment to which he said: ‘I made the original deal with Shonda. I developed “Grey’s Anatomy” at the studio. I picked it up at ABC.’
He praised Suzanne and added: ‘As for defaming me again and again, I don’t know what to say other than it’s sad that anyone feels the need to spread lies about me.’
Krista said to Variety: ‘We fought for the right for Meredith and Bailey to be whole human beings, with whole sex lives, and not a network TV idea of likable. You might not have been likable, but now you’re iconic.’
The premiere episode had incredible ratings and Ellen said: ‘So the fact that the numbers were that huge the first time we aired was a big f**k you to McPherson!’
On speaking of former co-stars who left the show, Ellen said she didn’t want to talk about it, because ‘it doesn’t get received in the way in which I intend it to be.’
However, she says: ‘Nobody should be working 16 hours a day, 10 months a year – nobody. And it’s just causing people to be exhausted, pissed, sad, depressed. It’s a really, really unhealthy model. And I hope post-COVID nobody ever goes back to 24 or 22 seasons an episode.’
Ellen continued: ‘It’s why people get sick. It’s why people have breakdowns. It’s why actors fight! You want to get rid of a lot of bad behavior? Let people go home and sleep.’
Ellen says that Debbie began advocating for more normal hours that include Friday days off with 12 hours maximum, but ideally 10 hours each time.
Debbie became the show’s EP/director ahead of season 12; she was previously a guest star on the show during season eight as Jackson Avery’s mom named Catherine.
She was hired during season six to direct and shadowed Chandra when she was tapped to direct that season by EP/producer/director Rob Corn.
Rista said at first she wondered if she should ignore COVID-19 to make the show a ‘relief’ and escape from real life.
Throwback: On speaking of former co-stars who left the show, Ellen said she didn’t want to talk about it, because ‘it doesn’t get received in the way in which I intend it to be;’ seen in a 2006 promo
But she ended up deciding to include it due to doctors in the writer’s room as they told her: ‘This is the biggest medical story of our lifetime, and it is changing medicine permanently.’
On what her future holds, Ellen says that she doesn’t ‘take the decision lightly.’
Adding: ‘We employ a lot of people, and we have a huge platform. And I’m very grateful for it.’
Ellen continued: ‘You know, I’m just weighing out creatively what we can do. I’m really, really, really excited about this season. It’s probably going to be one our best seasons ever. And I know that sounds nuts to say, but it’s really true.’
She noted: ‘The show, at its core, brings people together. And the fact that people can come together and watch the show, and think about things that may not have ordinarily thought about, or see things normalized and humanized in a way that a lot of people really need to see – it helps you become a better human being. If this show has helped anybody become a better human being, then that’s the legacy I’d love to sit with.’
Dr. Grey: On what her future holds, Ellen says that she doesn’t ‘take the decision lightly’