Ellen Pompeo will only be in eight episodes of the new season of “Grey’s Anatomy”. here’s why

Ellen Pompeo attends the Disney 2022 Upfront presentation at Basketball City Pier 36 in New York City on May 17. (Charles Sykes/Invision/Associated Press)

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ figure Ellen Pompeo, who long played surgeon Dr. Meredith Gray on ABC’s prime-time medical drama, will cut back on her screen time in the upcoming 19th season as she would be working on a new Hulu project.

Pompeo will appear in “a limited capacity” on the network’s flagship series, which goes into production this week, including eight episodes, The Times confirmed Wednesday. Still, she will narrate each episode and serve as executive producer. (It’s unclear how many episodes have been ordered for the new season, and ABC didn’t say whether this would be the series’ final arc.)

The Shonda Rhimes-created show, which premiered in 2005, still remains ABC’s top scripted series and has spawned several spinoffs, including “Private Practice” and “Station 19,” in which she also made guest appearances.

While many of the original cast members — Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane and Katherine Heigl — left “Grey’s,” Pompeo remained a mainstay alongside Chandra Wilson’s Dr. Miranda Bailey and James Pickens Jr. Wilson’s Dr. Richard Webber. and Pickens Jr. will also return for Season 19.

In the season 18 finale, Meredith decided to stay at the show’s Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital as acting chief of surgery rather than move to Minnesota. When “Grey’s Anatomy” was renewed in January, the “Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo” podcast host reportedly signed a one-year contract to return to the show.

Although Bailey left last season after the show’s medical center closed its residency program, the new season will introduce audiences to a new group of interns when it premieres on October 6. They include Alexis Floyd as Simone Griffin, Niko Terho as Lucas Adams, Midori Francis as Mika Yasuda, Adelaide Kane as Jules Millin, and Harry Shum Jr. as Daniel “Blue” Kwan.

Pompeo’s shift reduction on “Grey’s” comes as she prepares to take on her first major acting role outside of the ABC series. She will star in an eight-episode limited series for Hulu, ABC’s sister streaming service, which currently operates as the Untitled Orphan Project. She came aboard the project earlier this summer, Deadline reported.

This production centers on the bizarre true story of Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace, a young woman with dwarfism who tricked her adoptive Midwestern parents into thinking she was a child. They claimed she was an adult sociopath who threatened their lives, and their situation turned into “a battle that played out in the tabloids, the courtroom, and ultimately their marriage,” according to the line. connection.

The Hulu Project draws parallels to the 2009 horror film “Orphan,” which wove a similar thread.

Pompeo will play the mother in the series created and written by Katie Robbins (“The Affair” and “The Last Tycoon”). She will also produce the project through her Calamity Jane production banner with Laura Holstein.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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