"Grey's Anatomy" Star Ellen Pompeo Says This "Very Well Could Be" the End

The actor explains why the upcoming 17th season could be the final one for Grey's Anatomy.

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After 17 seasons of medical emergencies, love triangles, and so many interns, Grey's Anatomy may be airing its final season, according to lead actor and producer Ellen Pompeo. The upcoming 17th season of the longest-running medical drama in TV history kicks off on Nov. 12 on ABC—and during a new interview with Variety, Pompeo said this "very well could be" the end of the show. To see what Meredith Grey herself had to say about Grey's Anatomy ending, read on. And for more Grey's-related news, find out The Real Reason "Grey's Anatomy" Creator Shonda Rhimes Left ABC.

"We don't know when the show is really ending yet," Pompeo told Variety for the cover story of their "Power of Women" issue, published on Oct. 28. "But the truth is, this year could be it." Because she's not just the star of the series, and produces as well, Pompeo said she's "constantly fighting for the show as a whole to be as good as it can be. As a producer, I feel like I have permission to be able to do that."

Pompeo also added that her deal is up for renegotiations after Season 17, which could spell the end of the series. "This is the last year of my contract right now. I don't know that this is the last year? But it could very well could be," she said.

This is not the first time Pompeo has hinted that Grey's Anatomy could be ending soon. When she was on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast on Aug. 24, she said, "Certainly I think to dip out sooner rather than later at this point having done what we've done, to leave while the show is still on top is definitely a goal."

She told Shepard, "I'm not trying to stay on the show forever. No way. The truth is if I get too aggravated, and I'm no longer grateful there, I should not be there."

Interestingly, when Pompeo was talking to Variety, she reportedly brought up Grey's Anatomy ending unprovoked by the interviewer. Pompeo acknowledges that the show would not be able to sustain itself without her since, according to Variety, Rhimes and ABC have both made it clear that Grey's Anatomy would likely end with her exit.

"I don't take the decision lightly," Pompeo said. "We employ a lot of people, and we have a huge platform. And I'm very grateful for it. You know, I'm just weighing out creatively what can we do."

Time will tell if this is truly the end for Meredith Grey, but in the meanwhile, here are 16 other shows that are still going strong—and have actually been on longer than Grey's Anatomy. And for more TV news that will surprise you, check out This Is the Worst Guest "Today" Has Ever Had, Host Says.

1
General Hospital

Micheal Easton and FInola Hughes on General Hospital
Nick Agro / ABC

Premiered on April 1, 1963

2
Days of Our Lives

Stacy Haiduk and Arianne Zucker on Days Of Our Lives
XJ Johnson/JPI Studios/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

Premiered on Nov. 8, 1965

3
Sesame Street

Sesame Street
Seasame Workshop via YouTube

Premiered on Nov. 10, 1969

To see which stars have appeared on this iconic children's show, check out 50 Amazing Celebrity Cameos on "Sesame Street."

4
Masterpiece Theatre

Hugh Laurie Is a Shady Politician in PBS masterpiece's "roadkill"
PBS / BBC

Premiered on Jan. 10, 1971

5
The Price Is Right

Daytime Emmy Award-winning game show THE PRICE IS RIGHT, hosted by Drew Carey
Monty Brinton/CBS Broadcasting

Premiered on Sept. 4, 1972

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6
The Young and the Restless

Sharon Case as Sharon Newman on The Young and the Restless
Sony Pictures Television

Premiered on March 26, 1973

7
Saturday Night Live

alec baldwin as donald trump and jim carrey as joe biden on snl in 2020
NBC

Premiered on Oct. 11, 1975

And for more on this show's lows, check out The Worst "SNL" Host of All Time, According to the Cast.

8
Wheel of Fortune

wheel of fortune
CBS Television Distribution

Premiered on Jan. 6, 1975

9
Jeopardy!

still from jeopardy
CBS Television Distribution

Premiered on Sept. 10, 1984

And for more on the beloved host of this series, check out the 4 Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer Alex Trebek Wished He'd Known Sooner.

10
The Bold and the Beautiful

denise richards on the bold and the beautiful
Cliff Lipson / CBS Broadcasting Company

Premiered on March 23, 1987

And for more on soap star Denise Richards' other recent gig, check out The Most Famous Real Housewives, Then and Now.

11
America's Funniest Home Videos

alfonso ribeiro hosting america's funniest videos
Disney-ABC Domestic Television

Premiered on Nov. 26, 1989

12
The Simpsons

the simpsons
Disney–ABC Domestic Television

Premiered on Dec. 17, 1989

And for more on the success of this long-running series, here are The 50 Most Popular TV Shows of All Time.

13
Power Rangers

Power Rangers Dino Fury, Season 28 of Power Rangers
eOne

Premiered on Aug. 28, 1993

And if you remember when this show premiered, you may be familiar with these 20 Slang Terms From the 1990s No One Uses Anymore.

14
South Park

South Park
CBS Domestic Media Networks via YouTube

Premiered on Aug. 13, 1997

15
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

mariska hargitay on law and order svu
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Premiered on Sept. 20, 1999

16
NCIS

Gibbs (Mark Harmon, left) and NCIS Special Agent Dwayne Cassius Pride (Scott Bakula, right) chase leads in New Orleans after evidence points to a copycat of the infamous Privileged Killer on the conclusion of a two-part episode of NCIS, Tuesday, April 1 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network
Skip Bolen/CBS Broadcasting

Premiered on Sept. 23, 2003

Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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