Ellen Pompeo Back for More Episodes 5

Meredith Grey will be doing more rounds when Grey’s Anatomy returns.

Ellen Pompeo, who has starred as Dr. Meredith Grey since the Shonda Rhimes-produced ABC series launched in 2005, will be back for more episodes when season 21 returns. Viewers will see her onscreen in at least seven episodes in the forthcoming season, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Pompeo, who also exec produces Grey’s and has an overall deal with ABC Signature, will also continue her role as the show’s primary narrator.

The news is welcome for viewers of TV’s longest-running primetime medical drama, since Meredith has been in and out of the last two seasons. She appeared in eight episodes of season 19 and only four episodes of the 20th season, which was shortened from 2023’s writers and actors strikes.

Pompeo had reduced her role from series regular to recurring after signing on to produce and star in a limited series for Hulu in 2022. That series — titled Natalia and inspired by the true story of Natalia Grace — will wrap filming before production begins on Grey’s Anatomy, leaving Pompeo open to possibly appear in even more than the seven planned episodes.

After nearly two decades and more than 400 episodes of leading Grey’s, Pompeo‘s Meredith said a temporary goodbye to Grey Sloan Memorial for her family’s move to Boston in the season 19 winter premiere, “I’ll Follow the Sun.” She later returned for that season’s two-part finale, “Wedding Bell Blues/Happily Ever After,” but stayed on as the show’s voiceover despite her onscreen absence.

In season 20, the finale left off with a happy ending for Meredith and Nick (Scott Speedman). After averting a potential professional crises when Catherine Fox (Debbie Allen) attempted to take ownership over her and sister Amelia’s (Caterina Scorsone) Alzheimer’s research, Meredith revealed to Nick that she put an offer on a house just outside of Boston for the two of them, and her children, to make a home.

Creator Shonda Rhimes has long said there would be no Grey’s Anatomy without Meredith Grey, and the creative team has echoed that the door has remained open for Pompeo’s return.

In a recent conversation with THR‘s Lacey Rose, Rimes spoke about her current involvement in the series, which now has showrunner Meg Marinis at the helm, and (some) plans ahead.

“For a long time, even when I wasn’t the showrunner on Grey’s, I was still editing all the episodes. I’m not doing any of that now. But Meg will still call me and pitch me the season because she kind of wants my blessing. And she’ll call me if she’s having problems. I think I’m most valuable to her as a person to talk to the network. So, I’m here if she needs me, and it’ll always be my show. When it’s going to end? I don’t know,” she said of the hit show’s future, which returns in the fall.

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