Ellen Pompeo signs on for more ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ at $20M per year

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in 'Grey's Anatomy.'. Richard Cartwright via Getty Images

Ellen Pompeo has signed a new two-year deal with ABC Studios, renewing her contract on Grey’s Anatomy through Season 15 and 16.

The deal makes Pompeo the highest-paid actress on a prime-time drama.

The Hollywood Reporter says she’ll be making US$575,000 an episode, plus a seven-figure signing bonus, totaling US$20 million a year.

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Pompeo will also get a producing credit on Grey’s Anatomy and an executive producing credit on the upcoming untitled spin-off.

“I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age,” Pompeo said about her new deal.

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Pompeo continued: “I’m not the most ‘relevant’ actress out there. I know that’s the industry perception because I’ve been this character for 14 years. But the truth is, anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that’s a f**king skill.”

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The long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, currently in Season 14hasn’t officially been renewed and the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes recently signed a deal with Netflix.

Just because Pompeo signed on for two more seasons doesn’t mean Grey’s Anatomy will end after Season 16. “I’ve been saying since season one, ‘We have two more years,'” Pompeo said.

“This show, it’s taking on a life of its own, and who knows? We take it season by season really,” she said.

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She also revealed that she has her sights set on roles behind the camera in the future.

“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.”

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Pompeo credited Rhimes with helping her sign her new deal.

“In Shonda finding her power and becoming more comfortable with her power, she has empowered me. And that took her a while to get to, too. It was part of her evolution. It’s also why our relationship is so special,” she said. “I was always loyal to her, and she responds well to loyalty. So, she got to a place where she was so empowered that she was generous with her power.”

Pompeo added: “Now, what did that look like? It looked like her letting me be the highest-paid woman on television, letting me be a producer on this show, letting me be a co-executive producer on the spin-off and signing off on the deal that the studio gave me, which is unprecedented.”

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