Grey’s Anatomy fans, the time has come for Ellen Pompeo to say goodbye to Meredith Grey.
After portraying the titular character for 19 seasons, the actress is officially taking a step back from the beloved role. Most recently, the ABC drama announced that her final episode as a series regular will be the winter premiere airing on February 23. After the news stunned the Grey’s Anatomy fandom, Ellen let folks know just how appreciative she is for all the encouragement she’s received over the years.
“I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!” she wrote on Instagram on November 17. “Through it all … none of it … would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You all are RIDERS and you all have made the ride so fun and ICONIC!!”
She continued: “I love you madly and appreciate you right back. This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster … you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit. With a lot of love and immense gratitude XoE 🙏🏼❤️.”
Shortly after the actress shared her thoughts, Grey’s Anatomy fans took to the Instagram comments section with congratulatory messages. That said, many were also upset as the news continued to set in.
“I’m [email protected] YOUR show has become a part of my life and a big part of who I am,” one person wrote. “Girl the show is named after you MAKE IT MAKE SENSE MEREDITH! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE?!!!!” another added. “It’s like Derek dying all over again 😭,” a different fan said.
Although Ellen’s exit was met with mixed reactions, she’s not leaving TV just yet. She’s currently executive producing and starring in an untitled project for Hulu, so it’s only a matter of time before she graces our screens again. What’s more, she’s mentioned in previous interviews about not being worried for Grey’s Anatomy‘s future.
“[Grey’s Anatomy] will be just fine without me,” she told Deadline in September. “I’m going to always be a part of that show. I’m an executive producer on that show. I spent two decades of my career on that show — it’s my heart and soul. I’ll never truly be gone as long as that show is on the air.”
As far as how Meredith will be written out of the show, folks already saw a snippet of this during the fall finale. After debating between life in Seattle or moving to Boston, she eventually sent a resignation email after her home was burnt down in a lightning storm. The winter premiere is expected to follow Meredith’s final day as an attending at Grey Sloan Memorial, tying up Ellen’s place on Grey’s Anatomy once and for all.
As the entertainment and news editorial assistant for Good Housekeeping, Adrianna (she/her) writes about everything TV, movies, music and pop culture. She graduated from Yeshiva University with a B.A. in journalism and a minor in business management. She covers shows like The Rookie, 9-1-1 and Grey’s Anatomy, though when she’s not watching the latest show on Netflix, she’s taking martial arts or drinking way too much coffee.
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