Saturday, June 15, 2024

“Grey’s Anatomy” Without Meredith Grey a Possibility as Ellen Pompeo Wants More Money, or Cancel the Series


UPDATE: Thursday night “Grey’s” returned and killed off another main character.


EARLIER: Will “Grey’s Anatomy” make it a 20th season?

Not if Ellen Pompeo has anything to do with it. Pompeo is publicly negotiating for more money to keep playing insipid Meredith Grey beyond this season, number 17.

The show gave her COVID this season and put her in a coma. She’s been in bed whilst dreaming of being on a beach, running into all the other actors fired by Shonda Rhimes over the last 2 decades.

Tonight the series resumes with a crossover special with “Station 19,” the other Rhimes show that’s turned into a surprise success spun off from “Grey’s.”

Meantime, showrunner Krista Vernoff has been giving interviews this week threatening that she’s writing a series finale in case Pompeo doesn’t make a deal with ABC and Shondaland.

But really, ABC doesn’t want to cancel “Grey’s.” The ratings are still good, the show has a lot of fans, there’s a big cast and crew dependent on paychecks far less than Pompeo’s.

Plus, “Grey’s” is an ensemble piece. It never lived or died on the saga of Meredith Grey. If the character dies or moves away, life at Sloan Grey Hospital will continue, and the writers can just tell the stories of the other characters without missing a beat.

Pompeo is already the highest paid female in TV. She’s rich beyond imagination. What else does she want?. She’s not nominated for Emmy awards. She was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007. Since then she’s become a favorite of the sketchy People’s Choice Awards. If “Grey’s” is cancelled, I guarantee you she’ll be spearheading a reunion series on Netflix within three years.

Vernoff and Rhimes were smart to put Meredith in a COVID coma this season. That’s allowed all the other characters to get on with their business. On daytime soaps producers minimize a character so the audience is used to them not being on screen before they exit. Seems like Pompeo is headed in that direction.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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