Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 should be the end if Ellen Pompeo steps away


Ellen Pompeo has hinted that Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 will be the end. If she steps away from the role, that should definitely be the case.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine, Ellen Pompeo has hinted that Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 may be her last. She’s not ready to make a formal statement, according to the blurb TV Line shared, but she is starting to look at her future after her current contract comes to an end.

Pompeo signed a two-year deal earlier this year, making her the highest-paid drama actress on TV right now. It’s about time she got the recognition for her work, something that she wasn’t able to do when Patrick Dempsey was in the show because he was viewed as the bigger star.

However, now she says that she’s looking to do something new. I do remember Pompeo previously saying that she wasn’t looking to act any more after she leaves Grey’s Anatomy. She’s looking to step behind the camera, with production companies, nurturing new talent, and more. Whatever she does, there’s one thing I believe: Grey’s Anatomy should end when she leaves.

Photo Credit: Grey’s Anatomy/ABC, Mitch Haaseth Image Acquired from Disney ABC Media
Photo Credit: Grey’s Anatomy/ABC, Mitch Haaseth Image Acquired from Disney ABC Media /

This is something Shonda Rhimes seems to agree on, as she has said the show will end when Pompeo walks away. The two are close, so there will be some warning, giving the creator of the series (she handed the showrunner reins to Krista Vernoff last season for her Netflix-exclusive deal) a chance to pen the series finale.

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But why should Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 be the end? Well, without Pompeo, there is no show. This is “Grey’s” Anatomy and Pompeo is Meredith Grey. The only person I could have accepted in the lead role would have been Lexie Grey, but Chyler Leigh’s character was devastatingly killed off in the eighth season finale–and it’s a death I am most definitely not over.

There are characters on the show that I do believe could take on the lead reins for an episode here and there, but not for a full season. If the show wanted to continue in some capacity, it would need to be in the form of a spin-off, but even that is risky.

Grey's Anatomy Season 16
GREY’S ANATOMY – ABC/RON TOM — Acquired via Disney ABC Press /

I remember Scrubs continuing in the form of the med school with a new lead character. It just wasn’t the same without J.D., Turk, Elliot, Carla, Dr. Cox, Bob Kelso, and the Janitor together. There wasn’t the same connection between the med students and it didn’t feel right not having J.D. narrate every episode.

This isn’t something that I want to see happen to Grey’s Anatomy. I don’t want it to limp along for a final season. I want to see Shonda end this on a high after so many years of amazing storylines, medical dramas, and romances. So, if Pompeo goes, Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 needs to be the end.

Of course, this is all assuming that ABC will renew the show for the 16th season. The current renewal is only for this season coming, which is the 15th. Chances are the show will be renewed next year since it is one of ABC’s highest rated shows and kicks off TGIT, but we are just making assumptions here.

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What do you think about the future of the show? Would you watch without Ellen Pompeo in the lead role after Grey’s Anatomy Season 16? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 15 premieres on Sept. 27 at 8/7c on ABC with a two-hour premiere.