Ellen Pompeo has led the soapy medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Meredith Grey for nearly 400 episodes and 17 years. Now, she’s making it her mission to end the long-lasting series, which is in the middle of airing its 18th season on ABC, by working to convince everyone on set that it’s time to close the chapter.
“I’ve been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end,” Pompeo tells Insider.
Though she’s not sure what Meredith Grey’s fate will be on the show, she’s interested in finding out sooner rather than later. Pompeo says she wants to makes sure the show can write and produce a cohesive, sensible story as it continues to move forward, while everyone else encourages her to just think about the money.
“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?’” she continues. “And everyone’s like, ‘Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.’”
As one of the few remaining original cast members, Pompeo does indeed stand to continue to make loads of cash on Grey’s Anatomy. She still remains one of the top paid actors following her contract negotiations in 2017, as she earns $550,000 per episode of the show plus her share of syndication profits.
The series does remain fervently popular, and ratings have only gone up this year thanks to multi-platform streaming, which allows viewers to catch up on episodes on services like Hulu. Per ABC, in November, the series premiere “more than tripled its same-day viewer total and increased its demo rating by more than six times.”
The last episode before the midseason break aired on Friday, ended in numerous metaphorical cliffhangers; there was a very literal cliffhanger too.
The series will return to finish out season 18 in February.