Great news, Grey’s Anatomy fans. Meredith Grey won’t be retiring, or leaving in any form, from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
According to Parade, Ellen Pompeo recently signed a contract to continue her role as Dr. Meredith Grey when Season 13 picks back up in the fall.
The specifics of Pompeo’s new contract isn’t yet known, according to EW; although, she is reportedly receiving upwards of $300,000 per episode. Pompeo is believed to be one of the highest-paid actresses on television.
In 2015, Forbes listed Pompeo as the fourth highest-paid actress with annual earnings of $11.5 million. Ahead of Pompeo were Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara and Kaley Cuoco from The Big Bang Theory, both tied at $28.5 million. Another Modern Family actress, Julie Bowen, was ranked number three at $12 million.
While Pompeo enjoys being ranked among the best-paid television actresses, Grey’s Anatomy’s success has a large part in that. It recently wrapped up Season 12 and still remains ABC’s No. 1 drama.
Considering the drama surrounding Patrick Dempsey’s departure from the show, the ratings for Season 12 continued to rise, as much as 6 percent, over multiple platforms when compared to last season.
The demographics of that 6 percent raise were mostly in the highly desirable ages of 18-49. The show also witnessed a double-digit increase among women ages 18-34.
Pompeo’s Meredith Grey struggles since losing hubby Derek Shepard are part of the reason for the increase in ratings. But, Season 12 also had an upside as fans got to witness Meredith get romantically close with two men. One of them, Dr. Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson), is returning next season.
However, just because Dr. Riggs was Meredith’s first real post-Derek romance, that doesn’t mean he will ever be the next McDreamy, as Pompeo recently pointed out.
Pompeo said that there can be only one Derek Shepherd, and he is not replaceable. Of course, fans don’t need to be reminded that there is only one McDreamy, much like there is only one McSteamy.
“There will only be one McDreamy ever,” she in an interview with TVLine. “You know, he’s not replaceable.”
For viewers, this was clear from the first time Shepherd and Grey began seeing each other. There was on-screen magic that both Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo helped create. Fans know that, and so does showrunner Shonda Rhimes.
Pompeo added that even if more happens between her character and Dr. Riggs, or between any other character, Derek Shepherd was Meredith’s first love and fans will always remember that, too.
“Sure, you may have other relationships, and you may even marry again,” Pompeo added, “but everybody has that one great love.”
Nevertheless, while fans wait for Season 13, one character that won’t be returning is Dr. Callie Torres. In a shocking move, actress Sara Ramirez chose not to renew her contract when it expired at the end of Season 12.
Excluding Ramirez, Pompeo isn’t the only one gearing up for a return to Grey’s Anatomy. Justin Chambers (Dr. Alex Karev), Chandra Wilson (Dr. Miranda Bailey), James Pickens Jr. (Dr. Richard Webber), as well as Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt) are all reportedly in talks to sign new contracts for the coming season.
So fans, tell us what you think. Are you excited for another season of Grey’s Anatomy now that you know the biggest names in the show, including Pompeo, are returning for another season? Do you want Meredith Grey to find love with Dr. Riggs?
Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to watch the Season 13 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy when it returns to the TGIT Thursday night lineup this fall on ABC.