Ellen Pompeo Says They're 'Starting' to Think About How to End 'Grey's Anatomy' (Exclusive)

But that doesn't mean the end is near.

Is Grey's Anatomy beginning to plot its final medical case?

The long-running ABC medical drama is officially returning for season 15, but star Ellen Pompeo hints that they're starting to plan for the end -- not that it's coming anytime soon.

"Yes, we're starting to think about how you would end a show this iconic," the 48-year-old actress told ET on Tuesday at the New York City launch of Young Living Essential Oils' Seedlings baby care line. "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."

While Grey's will come to an end at some point down the line, Pompeo said she "trusts [Grey's creator] Shonda [Rhimes]," crediting the TV uber-producer for bringing back original series writer Krista Vernoff to run the show this season.

"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."

Rhimes has said that Grey's will end when Pompeo decides she wants to leave. But when that time comes, could Meredith Grey bite the dust? 

"I don't know. I know I'm going to survive because there's no show without me, so I never worry how I'm going to survive this. I guess I just worry if the audience will like it," Pompeo said candidly, adding later, "We really have the best fans in the world. They just adore everything we do and I don't know how many people are lucky enough to say that. Maybe Rihanna and Beyonce. They can do anything and people love it."

In the same sit-down interview, Pompeo also spoke to ET about saying goodbye to departing regulars Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew after the conclusion of this season, hinting at their characters' send-offs.

"You only get killed off when your behavior is bad. If you're a nice actor, you die nice," Pompeo said. "But yeah, these endings aren't tragic." 

The upcoming 15th season will return Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jesse Williams, Caterina Scorsone, Camilla Luddington, Kelly McCreary and Giacomo Gianniotti.

But for now, Pompeo is enjoying her hiatus from Grey's, promoting the Young Living Essential Oils' Seedlings baby care line. "Anything plant-based and anything natural for my kids is definitely what I go to," the mother of three said. "And especially nowadays, we really have to be careful in our bodies, on our bodies, on our children's bodies, in our children's mouths, so I was excited to come and help."

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Reporting by Rande Iaboni.


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