Grey’s Anatomy is one of the top shows on TV, so it makes sense that ABC would want to keep it around for a while. But Ellen Pompeo’s new contract reveals a lot about how invested the network actually is in the long-running medical drama.
Deadline reports that Pompeo just signed a new two-year deal, meaning Grey’s is likely to be around for at least two more seasons, even though it hasn’t been officially renewed yet beyond its current 14th season.
But there’s more to the deal that will also help shape the future of Grey’s. Part of the new deal makes Pompeo a producer on the show, beginning immediately, so she’ll have more of a hand behind the scenes, helping episodes of Grey’s actually be created. She’ll also be a producer on a new spinoff series that’s in the works. That’s not a particularly surprising move for Pompeo, who has been trying her hand at directing episodes for a few years now.
“Producing and directing is where I’m challenged and where I’m learning,” Pompeo said. “Acting, I don’t know. If the right role comes along, and it’s interesting, then never say never, but I do have three kids. I don’t necessarily want to travel around. I wouldn’t say it’s my burning desire to go act in something else.”
Pompeo is also set to become TV’s highest-paid female actor — Deadline reports her new deal will net her more than $550,000 per episode of Grey’s. It’s currently the top-rated drama on TV, so obviously ABC is investing in keeping it around, even though Pompeo admits nobody really knows how long Grey’s will keep airing.
“I’ve been saying since season one, ‘We have two more years,'” she said. “This show, it’s taking on a life of its own, and who knows? We take it season by season really.”