Why Grey's Anatomy Star Ellen Pompeo Might Not Be So Ready To Leave After All

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Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo had seemingly made it clear in the relatively recent past that she may be looking to get discharged from the ABC drama before too much longer. Now, though, the star might have changed her tune to one that will continue ringing down the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital for years to come. Here is Pompeo's latest take on the matter, in which she hints at why she may be sticking around.

I keep saying, 'I'm ready to move on and I want to stop the show before the ratings go down,' but the ratings never go down! They go down a little bit, but the fact that we are able to hold our [title as ABC's No. 1 series] is kind of [incredible]. It's very cool to have these kind of ratings and be on a hit network show in this [Peak TV] landscape.

The presence of success can go a long way to stopping someone from making any weird impulse decisions that cause someone to bow out of a most-watched show on TV. After all, if Grey's Anatomy was pulling in the kind of numbers that Cartoon Network's early morning series get, then it probably wouldn't have lasted as long as it has. Plus, Ellen Pompeo would likely be more enthusiastic about leaving it all behind.

However, Grey's Anatomy is the beast-mode drama that cannot be stopped on ABC. Technically, the show's viewership and ratings are down slightly compared to last year, but such is the case with most modern TVi series. The point is, the medical drama is still dependably popular across most metrics, doubling more than half of its nightly audience after the Live+7 DVR stats get tallied. (More than 3.1 million viewers have watched each Season 15 episode in the week after they've aired, which is impressive.)

Now, Ellen Pompeo isn't such a hyperbolic egomaniac that her motivation to stay with Grey's Anatomy is solely driven by the show's ratings and viewership totals. As she put it to TVLine, the actress totally understands how amazing she has it where she is, and isn't taking any of it for granted.

I like my situation here. As much as the idea of something new appeals to me... the truth is, I have three kids. I don't really want to travel and leave [them]. I don't want to be a circus traveller and live in hotels. And the network and studio continue to incentivize me and just make me offers that I can't refuse.

So there you have it, Grey's Anatomy fans. Ellen Pompeo has not just one reason, not just two reasons, but quite a few different motivational factors going into her decision to possibly reverse her tentative exit plans. The drama's ratings are still too dependable, Pompeo's family is still too dependent, and ABC just won't stop giving her ample reasons to keep coming back to her current love triangle, which will definitely be heating up again soon.

In fact, ABC granted Grey's Anatomy an extra three episodes for Season 15, and the announcement has many fans thinking something epically terrible is coming to Grey Sloan Memorial. The show does like to bring out its biggest natural and manmade disasters to ramp up the end-of-the-year excitement. Something tells me we won't need to worry about Meredith getting trapped in any deadly explosions, though.

While her mind can obviously change at any second of any day, Ellen Pompeo is currently content with rocking it out as Meredith Grey. She and Grey's Anatomy will return for the back half of Season 15 on Thursday, January 17, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to keep up with all the other big shows hitting the midseason TV schedule while you wait, too.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.