Tonight, Ellen Pompeo and the rest of the Grey’s Anatomy cast will be celebrating the show’s 300th Episode.
The milestone has led fans to ask when the show will end. Is there a planned final season? What year is it expected to conclude?
Here’s what we know:
Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator, has said that the show will end when Ellen Pompeo no longer wants to play Meredith Grey.
Speaking to E! News recently, Rhimes said, “Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show… So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping. So I don’t know if we’ll see 600, but I want to keep it feeling fresh. As long as there are fresh stories to tell and as long as we’re both excited about the stories being told, we’re in. So, we’ll see where that takes us.”
Sarah Drew, who plays April Kepner, simply tells E!, “Oh, we can’t do the show without Ellen. It’s not Grey’s Anatomy.”
Caterina Scorsone, who plays Amelia Shepherd, echoed Drew’s sentiments, saying, “She’s incredible. She’s been the lifeblood of this show, her and Shonda, from the very, very beginning… They’ve watched the culture change together. So, I don’t know man…I feel like no matter what, even if she was there or wasn’t there, she’s always going to be there.”
And what about Pompeo, herself? In May, the Grey’s star simply asked why she’d walk away from a hit. In her interview with Variety, Pompeo said, “The story is about Meredith Grey’s journey and when I’m done, the show will end.”
Pompeo isn’t quite sure what she’ll meet that end. She did, however, dish that the network and studio like to say they don’t see the end nearing. Ellen has admitted that she thinks the audience will make it clear when it’s the right time to wrap things up. “I think it’s quite arrogant to assume the show can go on forever — I don’t like that approach. Right now, we’re very lucky to have the fans still hanging on, and I think the fans will let us know when it’s time to stop the show.”
Being on Netflix has only helped the show’s platform. Rhimes tells MovieFone, “When we realized that Netflix was reinfusing the show with a whole new audience and that it didn’t seem to be going anywhere — and the ratings were going up and not down — that’s when I had to get really Zen with myself and say, “What do we want? How do I feel about this?” It’s been maddening and amazing to discover that you can reinvent it every year and it still works. I heard Ben Sherwood said something about [Grey’s running for 40 years like] General Hospital. That’s not the plan. But the idea that we are going to go until it feels like we’re done is great.”