Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Ellen Pompeo to Star in and Executive Produce Limited Series at Hulu After Scaling Back on 'Grey's Anatomy' Role

Grey's Anatomy
 star and executive producer Ellen Pompeo will be reducing her onscreen presence in the ABC drama's upcoming nineteenth season in order to take on a new acting opportunity. She has signed on to star in and executive produce an untitled limited series at Hulu, which received an 8-episode series order today.

In Season 19 of Grey's Anatomy, Pompeo is expected to appear in at least eight episodes. She will continue to serve as the drama's narrator and executive producer. Today's news comes on the heels of Alexis Floyd, Niko Terho, Midori Francis, Adelaide Kane and Harry Shum Jr. being cast as the latest crop of surgical residents on the long-running medical drama.

Inspired by the story of Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace and her U.S. adoptive parents, the limited series will follow a Midwestern couple who adopts what they believe is a little girl with dwarfism. As they begin to raise her alongside their three biological children, they slowly start to believe she may not be who she says she is. As they question her story, they're confronted with hard questions of their own about the lengths they're willing to go to defend themselves, falling into a battle that's fought in the tabloids, the courtroom, and ultimately their marriage.

The real-life story made national headlines in September 2019 when Kristine Barnett and her ex-husband Michael Barnett were charged with neglect for allegedly abandoning their adopted daughter Natalia, who has a rare form of dwarfism, in 2013 when she was 9. (After putting her up in an apartment, they had moved to Canada). The parents have claimed that Natalia, whom they adopted when they thought she was 6, is in fact a mentally disturbed adult woman who threatened their lives. Most of the charges against the Barnetts eventually were dismissed; Natalia has denied the accusation that she is a grownup con artist.

Katie Robbins developed the series, with Erin Levy set as showrunner. They will executive produce with Pompeo, Laura Holstein, Mike Epps, Dan Spilo, Niles Kirchner and Andrew Stearn. ABC Signature and Calamity Jane Productions will produce.