Grey’s Anatomy fans, you may want to sit down for this bit of news.
Throughout the years of changing staff members, new locations, plane crashes, explosions, shootings, and the like, one thing has remained constant—Dr. Meredith Grey.
But as we embark on the series’ whopping 19th season, it comes with the announcement that Meredith won’t be around for all of it.
The titular character will only appear in eight of the show’s expected 22 episodes, as Ellen Pompeo will be starring in and executive producing a new project for Hulu. The limited series, entitled Orphan, will be based on the bizarre story of Natalia Grace: a Ukrainian-born orphan whose adoptive parents in the US claim she was actually a grown woman pretending to be a child to con them.
Part of Meredith’s role in Grey’s is narrating each episode. With Pompeo not around, it is likely that she will not provide all of the upcoming season’s voiceovers, either.
Grey’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, has said that she doesn’t see the medical drama continuing without its leading lady, but it seems as though Ellen wants out.
She told Insider only a few months ago that she has “been trying to focus on convincing everybody that [Grey’s Anatomy] should end.”
Season 19 of Grey’s Anatomy is expected to premiere in the fall.