ABC has renewed Grey’s Anatomy for seasons sixteen and seventeen. Ellen Pompeo, who plays the titular character Meredith Grey, has extended her contract so she will be involved in both seasons. Pompeo is set to earn approximately twenty million dollars over the course of two seasons. Pompeo has spoken about the possibility of leaving the show in the past, but she has since said, “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 Number 1 Series] is kind of [incredible]. It’s very cool to have these kind of ratings and be on a hit network show in this [Peak TV] landscape.’”
Ellen Pompeo is known to speak out about problems in Hollywood and she recently opened up to Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures) about the problems she faced behind the scenes in the first decade of Grey’s Anatomy. The two had a conversation about the challenges they faced on Variety’s Actors on Actors. Pompeo told Henson, “The first 10 years we had serious culture issues, very bad behavior, really toxic work environment. But once I started having kids, it became no longer about me. I need to provide for my family.”
Pompeo explains that changes following season ten impacted her desire to be on the show, “…after Season 10, we had some big shifts in front of the camera, behind the camera. It became my goal to have an experience there that I could be happy and proud about, because we had so much turmoil for 10 years. My mission became, this can’t be fantastic to the public and a disaster behind the scenes. Shonda Rhimes and I decided to rewrite the ending of this story. That’s what’s kept me.” Pompeo expanded her Grey’s Anatomy responsibilities to work both in front of and behind the camera.
Ellen Pompeo appears more content with where she is in her personal and professional life, “I now have three kids. And we turned the culture around. I’ve hit some marks that have made me feel accomplished in a different way. Shonda Rhimes has been amazing. She lets us be mothers. I don’t have to travel. I don’t have to go anywhere.”
Grey’s Anatomy will return this Fall for season sixteen.