Grey’s Anatomy Season 20: How many episodes will Ellen Pompeo be back for?

Ellen Pompeo in a promotional photo for Grey's Anatomy
Ellen Pompeo will be on more episodes of Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 than planned. Pic credit: Nino Muñoz/ABC

When Grey’s Anatomy burst onto the scene and washed over the competition in 2005, Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey was front and center.

That all changed in 2023 when the original star departed as a series regular, dropping down to a recurring status.

As promotional material for Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 has trickled out, Meredith has been heavily featured in scenes that highlight her return to Seattle.

Beyond that, there was no confirmation of how long Pompeo would be on-screen.

Until now.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the beloved actress will appear in at least four episodes of the strike-shortened season.

Could Ellen Pompeo return for more episodes of Grey’s Anatomy Season 20?

Four episodes of a 10-episode season isn’t bad, but the outlet notes that Pompeo may appear in more than that.

At the time of her departure, Pompeo was set to produce and star in a limited series for Hulu.

Thanks to the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, that project was delayed, with pre-production only recently underway.

It seems it has allowed Pompeo to appear in more episodes than initially planned, which is always good news for fans.

While Pompeo narrates every episode, it has taken a bit to get accustomed to her not being on the show regularly any longer.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 will kick off a massive storyline for Meredith

Meredith’s return was already spoiled by a recent trailer, but there are many unanswered questions about what brings her back to Seattle.

We know she’ll get closer than ever to a relationship with Nick (Scott Speedman).

Their back and forth has grown tiring, but the trailer showcases Nick admitting he wants to spend his life with her.

Thankfully, they are both on the same page, as evidenced by some kissing.

It wouldn’t be Grey’s Anatomy without steamy romances, so we’re all for it.

We know that Meredith moved to Boston to start a new life, so what could be this “big storyline” for our heroine?

With the show entering its milestone 20th season, there’s a good chance it will be huge, so we’ll have to tune in when new episodes get underway to get some clarity on the situation.

More former stars are locked in for Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 encores

Jessica Capshaw, who was written out of the series after Grey’s Anatomy Season 14, is returning as Dr. Arizona Robbins.

It’s unclear at this stage what brings her back to Seattle, but we can’t wait to see some on-screen reunions.

Arizona still had a lot of story to tell when Capshaw was let go from the series, so it’ll be interesting to check back in with the iconic character.

Meanwhile, Alex Landi is returning as Dr. Nico Kim as a guest star this spring.

Nico was in an off-and-on relationship with Levi (Jake Borelli) for multiple seasons, but it all ended in tears during Grey’s Anatomy Season 18.

Alex’s return should be interesting, but we hope it doesn’t cause more heartache for Levi.

The only person we expected to come back not to be on the cast is Kate Walsh as Addison Montgomery.

Addison was such a pivotal player in the show’s early seasons that it feels like a missed opportunity not to have her in the milestone season.

Yes, we’ve checked back in with her a handful of times over the last few years, but we need her back more permanently.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 premieres Thursday, March 14, at 9/8c on ABC.

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