After reducing her duties as surgeon Dr. Meredith Grey on “Grey’s Anatomy,” longtime star Ellen Pompeo said she hasn’t cut ties with the ABC hit series entirely.
In an Instagram post Thursday, Pompeo reflected on her time with “Grey’s Anatomy,” which was co-created by Shonda Rhimes. In her post, she praised her fans for their support during her tenure and said they have made her 19-season run “so fun and ICONIC!!”
“This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit,” she added.
Pompeo’s final episode as a full-time “Grey’s Anatomy” cast member is set to air Feb. 23, when Season 19 makes its winter return. Last Thursday, ABC released a clip teasing Meredith’s departure.
“Meredith leaves Seattle to begin again,” the teaser said.
In the latest episode, which aired on Nov. 10, Meredith announced that she would be leaving Seattle for Boston, where she will pursue Alzheimer’s research.
The Times previously confirmed that Pompeo will remain an executive producer on the series and will continue doing voice-overs for this season’s episodes. Whether Meredith will drop in to see her beloved colleagues at Grey Sloan Memorial — a la Kate Walsh’s Addison Montgomery — has yet to be revealed.
The actor’s final episode will arrive more than 17 years after she made her “Grey’s Anatomy” debut in 2005. Pompeo’s bow as a full-time cast member also comes after the series most recently bid farewell to Giacomo Gianniotti, Jesse Williams and Richard Flood.
Pompeo may be shying away from the “Grey’s Anatomy” spotlight, but her fans can eventually follow her to Hulu, Deadline reported. The Golden Globe nominee will star in a currently untitled series centered on the true story of Ukrainian-born orphan Natalia Grace and the couple that adopts her.
Pompeo will star alongside Imogen Reid and serve as an executive producer.