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Big change for Grey's Anatomy's Meredith Grey teased for season 18

Could Ellen Pompeo be taking a step back?

Eve Crosbie

It seems that Grey's Anatomy fans could be in for a huge change when the series returns for its 18th season later this year.

MORE: Sandra Oh reveals whether she would ever return to Grey's Anatomy

In Thursday's penultimate season 17 episode, viewers watched as Meredith Grey finally returned home after spending weeks at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital fighting for her life after contracting Covid-19.

However, despite her best efforts, it seems she's not getting any stronger and she even struggles to lift her kids without getting winded. After confiding in her boss, Miranda Bailey (played by Chandra Wilson), about her concerns over her lingering symptoms, Miranda suggests a change of pace for her.

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WATCH: Patrick Dempsey makes his return to Grey's Anatomy in season 17

She tells Meredith that she could run the residency program and train up new surgical interns at the hospital. Aware of Meredith's passion for racial equality, she tells Meredith that she's confident she will "sandblast" any bias out of her students.

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Meredith certainly seems on board with the change, telling Miranda when she presses for an answer: "Am I allowed to say yes?"

So could season 18 see Ellen Pompeo, who has been playing the fearless medical doctor on the ABC drama since it began in 2005, take a step back? Next week's season finale should hopefully give fans a better idea of what Meredith's future on the show looks like but for now, it certainly seems that way.

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Meredith has been offered a new position at Grey Sloan

Meanwhile, the long-running series could be set for another spin-off, as it's been reported that creator Shonda Rhimes and showrunner Krista Vernoff are "working on" new ideas.

"Krista and the team are really digging deep and finding out what that looks like," ABC president Jonnie Davis recently told Deadline. "They are noodling ideas, and I can't wait to, when we land on what that is, to introduce the next phase of Grey's Anatomy. We will find the next version that will take it to the next 18 years. We're working on for right now, and there's no better brains to figure it out than Krista and Shonda."

MORE: Grey's Anatomy star weighs in on potential spin-off - and fans will be thrilled!

To date, the show has spawned two sister shows. Private Practice, which followed Dr Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), came first and ran between 2007 and 2013. Station 19, which focuses on the lives of firefighters in Seattle, was launched in 2018 and was recently recommissioned for a fifth season. 

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