In case you didn’t know, Ellen Pompeo is that bitch. She recently signed an insane deal to become the highest paid woman in dramatic television. She’s on a little show called Grey’s Anatomy which I will admit to still watching after 14 seasons. And that’s real seasons as in years, not one of Tyra’s little “cycles”. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter (which is worth a full read), Ellen talks about the long, hard road she walked to get more than$20 million a year. You won’t be surprised to learn that is was no thanks to Patrick Dempsey.
Ellen spent years doubting herself and worrying she would look “greedy” if she asked for what she thought she was worth. But after Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes got her big Netflix deal, a door opened and when Patrick eventually left the show, Ellen walked through it. According to THR:
For me, Patrick [Dempsey] leaving the show [in 2015] was a defining moment, deal-wise. They could always use him as leverage against me — “We don’t need you; we have Patrick” — which they did for years. I don’t know if they also did that to him, because he and I never discussed our deals. There were many times where I reached out about joining together to negotiate, but he was never interested in that. At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me. And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the number one. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, “I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.”
Sounds like Patrick’s alleged wayward dick was the best thing that could have happened to Ellen. I have always loved how Shonda does not fuck with assholes on her set (See also: Katherine Heigl, Isaiah Washington).
After Patrick’s character got a bad owie and died, Ellen said she went on vacation to decompress. And it sounds like there was no love lost between her and Patrick.
So, what does it look like when he leaves the show? First, it looks like a ratings spike, and I had a nice chuckle about that.
Soon enough though, the producers were bothering her on her vacation and interrupting her rosé afternoons by trying to shove a new male lead in her face. That’s when Ellen, with Shonda’s encouragement and assistance, decided to play hardball and demand she get paid more.
So what does it mean to be the highest paid pretend lady doctor on TV? Well, it means (via THR):
The result: Pompeo’s new pact will have her earning more than $20 million a year — $575,000 per episode, along with a seven-figure signing bonus and two full backend equity points on the series, estimated to bring in another $6 million to $7 million. She also will get a producing fee plus backend on this spring’s Grey’s spinoff as well as put pilot commitments and office space for her Calamity Jane production company on Disney’s Burbank lot.
I hope Patrick Dempsey is enjoying his time off and contemplating whether he should focus on Hallmark or Lifetime movies.