Ellen Pompeo on Why Meredith Hasn't Found Love on 'Grey's Anatomy' After Derek

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Meredith Grey hasn't had the best luck when it comes to love.

Since Derek Shepherd's death in April 2015Grey's Anatomy's leading lady has had a roller coaster of a time filling the void in her heart, from promising relationships (Martin Henderson's Nathan Riggs) to missed calls (Scott Speedman's Nick Marsh). In a new interview, Ellen Pompeo acknowledged that Meredith's track record in the romance department post-Derek hasn't been good. 

"Patrick Dempsey is a very tough act to follow, and it's challenging to get someone to come on a season 15 show," Pompeo told Entertainment Weekly for its latest cover story. "We're gonna find someone who makes an impact. That's our biggest challenge this year."

"There are possibilities all around her in the hospital and in Seattle at large," added Grey's showrunner Krista Vernoff. "Dating is complicated, and you don't always fall for the first person you sit across from. We're trying to reflect some of that."

With Grey's heading into its 15th season, Pompeo also addressed her future with the show since revealing in January that she signed on for two more seasons, which will earn her more than $20 million a year for the 15th and 16th seasons, the latter of which hasn't been officially ordered.

Though she didn't outright say it, the 48-year-old actress-producer may be ready to hang up her scrubs after the end of the 16th season.

"I'm clearly not prepared right now to make any formal announcement about what my future is on the show, but I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell," Pompeo said. "It's about time that I mix it up. I'm definitely looking for a change."

Back in May, Pompeo told ET that they're starting to ruminate on how to wrap up a show as iconic as Grey's.

"Yes, we're starting to think about how you would end a show this iconic," she said at the time. "How do you end it? But we're not there yet. We're going to focus on season 15. We just take it one season at a time."

"The show's a tremendous money maker, let's be honest. It makes a fortune for everybody and everyone wants to keep it going," Pompeo noted. "Now, it's sort of fun. We're in a contest with ourselves. How long can we keep this going and still have this level of quality."

Grey's Anatomy returns with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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