Kate Walsh Hopes ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Will Continue After Ellen Pompeo’s Exit

Ellen Pompeo and Kate Walsh in 'Grey's Anatomy'
© ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Grey’s Anatomy veteran Kate Walsh is optimistic that the long-running ABC medical drama will continue after Ellen Pompeo leaves the show in February.

After portraying Dr. Meredith Grey for nearly two decades, Pompeo is bidding Grey’s farewell in early 2023, which has many fans wondering if Season 19 will be its swan song. After all, how can the show continue without the titular character showing up at Grey Sloan Memorial every episode?

But Walsh, who made her return as Dr. Addison Montgomery in Episode 3 of this season, thinks this current crop of characters has staying power. “The storylines are so strong… The new interns this season, I love that they’re all fallible and messed up, and so that makes it, I think, a lot more interesting, ” she told People.

“Interns and attendings, you have OGs come back like me, and that’s been really fun, and also just the writing has never been stronger on the show,” she added.

Pompeo recently stopped by The Drew Barrymore Show and explained why she felt now was the perfect time to leave the long-running drama, which she also co-executive produces. “I feel super happy — but, listen, the show has been incredible to me. I’ve loved a lot of the experience, but I gotta mix it up a little bit. I’m 53, my brain is like scrambled eggs. I gotta do something new… you can’t do The New York Times crossword puzzle every single day.”

As for Walsh, after debuting as Derek Shepherd’s (Patrick Dempsey) estranged wife Addison in the first season of Grey’s in 2004, she moved to her own spinoff, Private Practice, in 2007. (Fans of Private Practice will be pleased to know that there have been recent rumors of a revival of the medical drama.)

Pompeo will next star in a still-untitled Hulu limited series based on the movie Orphan, “inspired by the true story of Ukranian-born Natalia Grace and her US adoptive parents who claimed that she was an adult ‘sociopath’ pretending to be a child.”

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 19, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC