Ellen Pompeo Is Producing A New Show That Sounds Like 'Alias' Meets 'Legally Blonde'
Move over Sydney Bristow, there's a new CIA agent who's coming to ABC — and it's all thanks to Meredith Grey. Ellen Pompeo is producing a new series is basically Alias meets Legally Blonde, which should make a lot of fans happy. Even better, this new series, which Pompeo will executive produce, is based on a true story that is stranger than fiction. No surprise, this means it fits in quite well with other #TGIT faves.
According to Deadline, ABC is working on a drama about a sorority girl who joined the CIA based on the upcoming memoir, The Sorority Girl Who Saved Your Life by Tracy Walder and Jessica Anya Blau. That sorority girl, well, that's none other than Walder, who was recruited by the CIA at a jobs fair while a student at University of Southern California and a Delta Gamma sorority sister. What, like it's hard?
The series will be written by former Arrow co-showrunner Wendy Mericle, who will also act as showrunner. It will be executive produced by Pompeo via her company Calamity Jane, along with Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly. “Tracy’s real-life story is fascinating," Pompeo said in a statement to Deadline. "And we are honored that she has entrusted our team to put a fictional twist on her real-life wild ride."
And what a ride it was. Walder spent five years as a covert operative who took on terrorism under assumed aliases in nine countries including Afghanistan, Morocco and Jordan. Deadline reported that Walder also hid "in the trunks of cars on her way to debrief terrorists at black sites."
In a 2010 interview with Dallas News, Walder said she couldn't confirm any specifics about her time in the CIA. "However, looking back now that I am removed from the situation," she wrote in an email that the Dallas News noted was approved by the CIA. "I am extremely surprised by my fearlessness."
Walder, who will serve as a consultant on the ABC series, would later leave the CIA after four years to join the FBI, becoming one of the few women to do so. Walder now teaches foreign policy at an all-girls boarding school in Dallas, Texas.
For those who are excited about this new show but worried about how Pompeo's producing gig will effect her time on Grey's Anatomy, don't worry, it doesn't seem like it will. Pompeo signed a contract through Season 16, which made her the highest paid dramatic actress on TV. She'll reportedly earn her $575,000 per episode, or $20 million a year. The deal also gives her a producing credit on Grey's Anatomy and a co-executive producing credit on the Grey's spinoff Station 19.
But, she did tell Entertainment Weekly that she might say goodbye to Grey's in 2020, which also happens to be when her contract is up. While she wouldn't make any official announcement without Shonda Rhimes, she said, "I’m feeling like we’re coming to the end of the stories that we’ve told and that we can tell. I’m really excited to do some new things, it’s about time that I mix it up and I’m really excited about my producing career, and I’m definitely looking for a change."
For now, though, Pompeo will stay put in Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital, but this sorority girl may offer her the change she's been looking for.