‘Grey’s Anatomy’: ABC Hopes to Bring Back Ellen Pompeo as Renewal Talks Begin

Ellen Pompeo in Grey's Anatomy Season 18
ABC/Liliane Lathan

The doors might not be ready to close on Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital just yet as ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy is in early talks to return for a 19th season.

According to Deadline, renewal talks are underway, with ABC approaching series star and co-executive producer Ellen Pompeo about signing on for another season. Pompeo agreed to a one-year deal for Season 18 last year after her contract expired at the end of Season 17. In addition, fellow original cast members Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. also signed new multi-year deals.

ABC renewed Grey’s for its 18th season this past May but did not announce it as the final season. However, according to Deadline, if a renewal isn’t made for Season 19, then Grey’s creator/exec producer Shonda Rhimes and exec producer/showrunner Krista Vernoff would work on a series finale to give the show a proper send-off.

Grey’s is the longest-running primetime medical drama in TV history and continues to be ABC’s highest-rated scripted series. The show’s spin-off Station 19 is also rising to be the network’s second highest-rated series through its frequent crossovers with the Grey’s universe.

“We’re thrilled to have [Grey’s] on the lineup. It’s a gift,” Craig Erwich, President, ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals, told Deadline in September. “As long as all of the producers and Ellen [Pompeo] feel like there are meaningful stories to tell, we’re going to continue to do the show.”

Pompeo has made it no secret that she believes the show should end soon, despite its continued popularity and the amount of money it generates. Speaking with Insider earlier this month, the Golden Globe-nominated actress said, “I’ve been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end.”

She continued: “​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?’ And everyone’s like, ‘Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars.'”

Grey’s Anatomy, Returns, Thursday, February 24, 9/8c, ABC