KEY POINTS

  • Ellen Pompeo will appear in a limited capacity in "Grey's Anatomy" Season 19 and play Meredith in eight episodes only
  • Pompeo reportedly reduced her appearances in the series because she has a new series on Hulu
  • The actress will continue to executive produce and narrate each episode on "Grey's Anatomy" Season 19

Ellen Pompeo is expected to have a reduced onscreen role in the upcoming season of "Grey's Anatomy."

Pompeo, 52, is one of the three remaining original cast members, along with Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr., who will return in Season 19 of the ABC medical drama.

However, she will physically appear on screen in a "limited capacity" and will play Meredith Grey in just eight episodes of the upcoming installment, TV Line reported. A season of "Grey's Anatomy" typically has between 20 and 24 episodes.

Despite this, Pompeo will continue to narrate every episode in addition to serving as an executive producer.

Pompeo reportedly decided to scale back her role in the long-running series to pursue other opportunities. She is set to star in and executive produce a limited series that has been ordered at Hulu, Variety reported.

ABC announced the renewal of "Grey’s Anatomy" back in January, weeks after Pompeo revealed that she wanted to end the series after 18 seasons.

"I've been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end," Pompeo told Insider in December last year. "I feel like I'm the super naive one who keeps saying, 'But what's the story going to be, what story are we going to tell?'"

The Massachusetts native, who had played the role of Meredith for 16 years at that point, said she felt that no one seemed to be worried about the storyline, and the response she reportedly got was, "Who cares, Ellen? It makes a gazillion dollars."

In May, Pompeo hinted that she decided to try another approach. Instead of ending the show for good, she was looking for ways to make it survive without her.

"Shonda [Rhimes] and I, I think — we'll see, we'll see," she told Entertainment Tonight at the time when asked if "Grey's Anatomy" will last without her in the future.

According to the actress, they were trying to reinvent the show because it speaks to a lot of people. She also acknowledged that despite having been on the air for nearly two decades, "the young people love the show."

"It's inspired so many generations of healthcare workers, so, I think for the young people, it's a really good piece of content and we're going to try to keep it going for the young people, not necessarily with me, but keep it going beyond me," she added.

Pompeo's Hulu series is referred to as "Untitled Orphan Project," inspired by the true story of a Midwestern couple who adopts an 8-year-old girl with a rare form of dwarfism. They raise her alongside their three biological children but slowly start to realize that she may not be who she says she is, according to TVLine.

"Grey's Anatomy" Season 19 premieres on Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. EDT/PT.

Ellen Pompeo
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 02: Ellen Pompeo attends Save The Children's "Centennial Celebration: Once In A Lifetime" at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 02, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images) Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
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