Ellen Pompeo Promises 'Grey's Anatomy' Fans She'll Never Fully Be Gone From Series

Even though Ellen Pompeo is taking a step back from Grey's Anatomy, she wants to reassure fans that she's still a part of the series. Pompeo spoke to Deadline during the D23 Expo and stressed that she won't be fully gone from the ABC drama. Ahead of Season 19 of Grey's Anatomy, it was reported that the actor, who has portrayed Dr. Meredith Grey since the start of the show, would have a reduced role during the course of the season. 

According to Deadline, Pompeo will only appear in eight episodes during Season 19. While appearing at the D23 Expo on Friday, the Grey's Anatomy star spoke about what this will mean for the future of the show. She also explained that her presence will still be felt even when she's not on the screen, as she is still an executive producer. Additionally, Pompeo will continue to record the voiceover for the series.

"[Grey's is] still gonna be just fine without me — I'm still gonna do the voiceover," the actor said while on the red carpet for the Disney Legend ceremony. As for what Pompeo will be working on during her reprieve from Grey's Anatomy, she said that will star in and executive produce an Untitled Orphan show for Hulu. The series is based on the true story of Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace, who was alleged to be an adult disguising herself as a child, and her adoptive parents. Pompeo said about the project, "I'm gonna put the same heart and passion into that."

Pompeo might be taking a break from Grey's Anatomy, but she also shared that she will at least return for the season finale. She continued, "And I'll be back at Grey's for the finale, and we'll see if we can keep it going. I'm gonna always be a part of that show – I'm an exec producer on that show, I've spent two decades of my career on that show, it's my heart and soul, and I'll never truly be gone as long as that show's on the air." At the moment, Grey's Anatomy is gearing up to introduce some new faces including Harry Shum Jr. and Adelaide Kane as interns for the residency program. As Pompeo explained, their addition to the show is setting Grey's Anatomy up for its future. 

"We're really trying to set up the next generation," she said. "I'm really excited for them – they're really great actors. …They're really excited to be there and they're excited to tell these stories." Pompeo added, "It helps all of us who have been there since the beginning — it helps keep it new and fresh, so we're really grateful to them."