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Grey's Anatomy Shock: Former Showrunner Shonda Rhimes Says She’ll Decide When Show Will End, Not Ellen Pompeo?

Credit: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert/YouTube

Grey’s Anatomy has been on air since 2005, and the hit medical drama is currently in its 18th season. Since the show is one of the longest-running series of its generation, fans can’t help but wonder if the series will end soon.

Last season, the creators and writers of Grey’s Anatomy seemingly prepared their loyal viewers for the end of the show. After all, they featured several of the original characters that have already passed on in the series.

Patrick Dempsey’s character, Derek Shepherd reunited with Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) in her dream while she battled with COVID-19. The lead character also saw George (T.R. Knight), Lexie (Chyler Leigh), and Mark (Eric Dane).

Over a year ago, reports confirmed that Grey’s Anatomy was renewed by ABC for three seasons. However, their contract with the network will reportedly end sometime next year.

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Shonda Rhimes Makes Shocking Revelation About Grey’s Anatomy

So, the future of Grey’s Anatomy is still up in the air, and former showrunner Shonda Rhimes said that she will be the one to decide when the series will end.

“Am I the person who decides when the show is over? Yes. And I take full responsibility for that when or if everybody gets mad at me,” Rhimes told Variety.

Grey’s Anatomy Ending Changed 8 Times

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Credit: ABC/YouTube

Rhimes also revealed that she had already written the ending of Grey’s Anatomy at least eight times. However, all her prospective endings didn’t turn out to be a storyline for the finale.

“I’ve written the end of that series, I want to say, a good eight times. I was like, ‘And that will be the end!’ Or, ‘That’ll be the final thing that’s ever said or done!’ And all of those things have already happened. So, I give up on that, you know what I mean?” she said.

Rhimes’ recent revelation about the fate of Grey’s Anatomy seems to be a stark contrast from what was said two years ago.

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Will Ellen Pompeo Decide When Grey’s Anatomy Will End?

In 2019, ABC’s entertainment chief, Karey Burke said that Rhimes and Grey’s Anatomy lead star Ellen Pompeo will collectively decide when the series will end.

“We love them. They are as deep a part of the fabric of ABC as anyone, and certainly, it will be up to them whether or not they want to continue the show,” Burke said.

Ellen Pompeo Thought About Leaving Grey’s Anatomy

Pompeo also weighed in on the future of Grey’s Anatomy while speaking with TV Line.

“I keep saying, ‘I’m ready to move on and I want to stop the show before the ratings go down,’ but the ratings never go down! They go down a little bit, but the fact that we are able to hold our [title as ABC’s No. 1 series] is kind of [incredible]. It’s very cool to have these kinds of ratings and be on a hit network show in this [Peak TV] landscape,” she said.

Pompeo also said that she’s struggling to leave the show because the people behind it continue to incentivize her.

“I like my situation here. As much as the idea of something new appeals to me… the truth is I have three kids. I don’t really want to travel and leave [them]. I don’t want to be a circus traveler and live in hotels. And the network and studio continue to incentivize me and just make me offers that I can’t refuse,” she explained.

We can’t really blame Pompeo for wanting to stick around. Not only will her fans miss her and everyone knows that Grey’s Anatomy can’t go on without Pompeo’s character.

It’s also difficult for Pompeo to bid the series goodbye because of her lucrative salary. According to Forbes, Pompeo makes $550,00 per episode of the hit ABC series.

On top of this, Pompeo also receives $6 million annually from her share of syndication profits.

Grey's Anatomy Season 18 Episode 5 Airs This Week

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Credit: ABC/YouTube

For now, the series continues to air on ABC. On Thursday, Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 5 will premiere at 8 p.m. ET following the show’s two-week hiatus.

The teaser for this week’s episode, titled Bottle Up and Explode confirms that one character will be killed off following the back-to-back bombings in Seattle.

Check back for more news, spoilers, and updates about Grey’s Anatomy here at EpicStream!

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