Ellen Pompeo hints she may be ready to leave 'Grey's Anatomy' after season 16

Could Grey's Anatomy be on its last legs?

Ahead of the season 15 premiere, Ellen Pompeo strongly hinted that she may be ready to hang up her scrubs for good following the end of the 16th season, which would be the end of the two-year contract extension she signed making her the highest-paid TV actress, earning more than $20 million per year. Though Grey's has yet to be officially picked up for season 16, it appears the 48-year-old actress is thinking about her post-Meredith Grey move.

"I'm clearly not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell," Pompeo told Entertainment Weekly. "It's about time that I mix it up. I'm definitely looking for a change."

Creator Shonda Rhimes admitted she's written several series finales for Grey's, only to have the show continue on.

"I have written the end of the show at least six times," Rhimes told EW. "But we just don't end. Every time, I thought, 'This is how the show should end,' we've gone past those moments, so I've stopped trying."

"I have no idea now," she confessed of the ultimate Grey's swan song.

Back in May, Pompeo told ET that they were starting to ruminate on how to wrap up a show as iconic as Grey's.

"Yes, we're starting to think about how you would end a show this iconic," she said at the time. "How do you end it? But we're not there yet. We're going to focus on season 15. We just take it one season at a time."

"The show's a tremendous money maker, let's be honest. It makes a fortune for everybody and everyone wants to keep it going," Pompeo noted. "Now, it's sort of fun. We're in a contest with ourselves. How long can we keep this going and still have this level of quality."

Grey's Anatomy returns with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.


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