After the actress sent fans of the long-running ABC medical drama down a spiral of depression when she insinuated she might be done playing Meredith Grey after her contract expires at the end of a possible Season 16, Pompeo seems to be changing her mind.
"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!" she told TVLine in a new interview. "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 actress — who is almost midway through her headline-making two-year $20 million deal to continue on leading the show — added she is aware of the major benefits on the popular series.
"It's [a] pretty nice place to work," she said. "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."
When thinking about possibly leaving the show, Pompeo also considers that should she ever decide to exit, Grey's Anatomy would come to an end, given her name is in the title.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about how many people have stable jobs [at Grey's]," Pompeo reflected. "In this town you don't get a lot of 24-episodes-a-season shows. So the fact that this crew gets to film 24 episodes – that's 10 months of work – and they get to stay in LA [is remarkable]."
Despite her new comments, Pompeo maintains she has not decided on her future on the series beyond a yet-to-be-ordered Season 16.
"I'm contracted through Season 16," she told the outlet. "And beyond that... I don't really know. I take it day-by-day."
Her comments come a few months after she said she might call it a day when her contract expires, stating she thought the series had told all the stories it could tell for the characters.
However, Season 15, which has recently been upped to a 25-episode order, has gone through a creative resurgence as the series stepped away from dark and tragic storylines in exchange for more romantic and comedic episodes.
Could we survive the end of Grey's Anatomy? The series returns from its winter break on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.