There's long running TV shows, and then there's Grey's Anatomy. ABC's medical drama is currently in the midst of its whopping 14th season, and is showing no signs of slowing down. With a firefighter spinoff and a new web series currently on the way, the fictional world of Seattle is about to get much bigger. How long Grey's Anatomy runs does seem largely dependent on star Ellen Pompeo, who recently inked a deal for two more years on the series. But it turns out that Pompeo has had her fair amount of issues on the show, including how Grey's handled the aftermath of Derek Shepherd's death when Patrick Dempsey departed the series. She recently shared this, saying:
But the truth is, the ink wasn't even dry on his exit papers before they rushed in a new guy. I was on vacation in Sicily, decompressing --- it was a long working relationship and it was a tumultuous end and I needed a moment to just chill with some rosé --- and they're calling me, going, 'What do you think of this guy?' 'What do you think of this guy?' And they're sending pictures. I was like, 'Are you people fucking nuts? Why do you feel that you have to replace this person?' I couldn't believe how fast the studio and the network felt like they had to get a penis in there. We brought in Martin Henderson, but they didn't love the storyline, so that ended.
It looks like ABC and the folks at Grey's Anatomy weren't convinced Ellen Pompeo could carry the series on her own. Despite the show being literally named after her character, they tried to give Meredith a new love story way too soon, which seemed to seriously distress the actress.
Ellen Pompeo's comments to THR shows how her feelings about Grey's Anatomy has ebbed and flowed. Through 14 seasons, Meredith has been the consistent through line of the series, as we've watched her go from hungover intern to a Harper Avery Award winner. But there have been a fair amount of challenges along the way for Pompeo, especially when it came to negotiating her contract and continuing on after the departures of Patrick Dempsey and Sandra Oh.
Indeed, Grey's Anatomy did try to give Meredith a new love story a bit too quick. The series used a time jump to speed up Meredith's grieving process, and we've seen two potential suitors come and go since Derek's shocking death. While some fans are eager to see the show's leading lady experience love again, it should be because the story calls for it, rather than wanting to put another male actor into a leading role. Because we don't need much besides Meredith to be happy.