Is Grey's Anatomy Entering Its Final Season? Shonda Rhimes Has Her Say

Even if Ellen Pompeo and/or Patrick Dempsey opt not to stay with Grey’s Anatomy beyond the upcoming eighth season, Seattle Grace will continue to admit patients come fall 2012 — according to series creator Shonda Rhimes.

TVLine Exclusive: Ellen Pompeo Opens Up About Her Uncertain Grey’s Future

“Just for the record: This is not the last season of [Grey's Anatomy],” Rhimes avowed on Twitter Wednesday, in response to a handful of followers suggesting it was. To underscore her resolve, she added: “Definitely. Not.” (An ABC spokesperson did not immediately respond to our request for comment on Rhimes’ ersatz Season 9 pick-up news.)

Rhimes also broke her hiatus-timed Twitter silence to stress, “We are NOT adding any more cast members this season,” as in series regulars (and not nervous guest star interns, as scooped here). “Full house already,” she explained.

Exclusive: Shonda Rhimes Says Next Grey’s Season May Be Original Cast’s Last

Come Season 9, should any original cast members elect not to re-sign with the ABC drama, its casting needs surely will be different. Rhimes, however, is not yet giving up on McDreamy and his Mrs. (though she did tell TVLine she’s bracing for them both to end their shifts next May). “Hope they stay,” she tweeted, in reference to Pompeo and Dempsey’s in-flux status.

Grey’s returns Thursday, Sept. 22, with a two-hour season opener.

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105 Comments
  1. Ceecile says:

    As a viewer I have my say (which should count more tbh), and I say yes.

    • Tracy says:

      If Meredith or Derek had to leave I would perfer that Meredith left not to keen on her, I have never missed an episode huge fan of Derek!

    • Peter says:

      Cannot stand Grey, her character has become weak and shallow. I look forward to the awsome show without her.

  2. Samantha says:

    I hope Grey’s doesn’t become that show that doesn’t know when its overstayed its welcome.
    IE: ER.

  3. Samantha says:

    It’s already jumped the shark, in my opinion.
    IE: Ghost sex and musical. That’s all!

    • Leigh says:

      I liked the musical.

    • Stephanie says:

      And it wasn’t “ghost sex.” There was a legitimate explanation for it. That said, it could have ended an episode or two sooner, but I would never call that jumping the shark. That phrase is thrown around way too much by people who don’t understand what it means. People think an issue they don’t like on a show is jumping the shark, when it really implies an out-of-realm storyline used simply as a gimmick. That was clearly not the case.

      • jen says:

        any legitimacy was gone when shonda

        a) kept denying (lieing) that izzie had cancer (causing the hallucinations) Why say anything at all if you’re just going to lie about it…

        b) the fact that it was done so poorly. Had the ‘ghost sex’ only been for an episode of 2 it would have been MUCH more effective instead of completely ruining Denny’s character (overstayed welcome)

    • james durbs says:

      I love how when people don’t like a storyline or an episode they scream “Jumped the shark”

      • sulliD says:

        If your personal opinion is that the show was over the top and completely unrealistic, then saying it “jumped the shark” is realistic and certainly one persons opinion. The “cancer/ghost” episodes were certainly a stretch, but this show is known for that (e.g. season finales). At the same time it makes it entertaining, keeping in mind it is a show about relationships centered around a hospital… Let’s just be thankful Meredith’s long lost twin hasn’t shown up or she hasn’t been in a coma for a year (General Hospital)… Or maybe we already have seen that?

    • kay says:

      ghost sex was seasons and seasons ago and every show, it seems, at some poin plays with a musical.

    • splashgill says:

      The whole story with Denny was crap-I’m glad Izzy left the show. Her constant “George is my best friend” thing ticked me off-she wasn’t even there for him in the end. George was a great guy, and it sucked that he left

      • sulliD says:

        I agree… I never understood why he left. It isn’t like I have seen him on a lot of other shows or movies.

  4. Ingmar says:

    Even if Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey leave I still think the show could handle a season 9. If they DO return, there is no question about it even. There are so many good characters on the show imo. Yes, it will be different without them but the show will manage without them. Ofcourse I prefer them to be there, or just in guest spots.

  5. Lindsay says:

    I’m ready to let the show go. I’ve never missed an episode, and it’s had a great run. But, we can let it go, really.

    • tvadict Mom says:

      I agree. I think it’s run it course. It’s losing viewers every year. If Shonda concentrated on this show instead of trying to make up others, she could really make this the best and last year,

    • Kelsey says:

      I completely agree! I love grey’s, but I’m definitely ready for it to be over. It’s already gone downhill in the later seasons and I would hate for it to become even worse as it goes on. Just end it on a good note!!

    • kay says:

      bye then. pick up that little box called a remote and change the channel.

    • latricia says:

      then stop watching i would like to see more seasons

  6. kristine says:

    imagine that. shonda rhimes doesn’t want to end her cash cow. I’M SHOCKED.

  7. Kiki says:

    I’d watch without Meredith, but only if Cristina and Owen stick around. If they leave, I’ll go with them.

  8. xav says:

    I pretty much think the only way for the show to survive is if Meredith, Derek and Cristina leave. Not because I don’t love them, because I do, but because there is a limit to how much you can put the characters through before storylines repeat and it all becomes dull. Plus I would rather Mer and Der waltz off into the sunset all happy rather than be put through the wringer another season or two.

  9. Jeri says:

    You can’t believe anything Shondra says. She back tracks whenever it suits her and/or claims “she was misunderstood.”

    It would be better if she let the show speak for itself instead of her constantly making excuses/clarifications. Perhaps they could concentrate on plot instead of Shonda having to explain the show.

    That is lame.

    • Kimberly says:

      Agreed 100%. She is always lying about something on Twitter, and then can’t deal with the aftermath when the promise isn’t fulfilled.
      I also don’t get why she “hopes they stay” when Patrick and Ellen are hardly even on the show anymore. They show up for two 30 second scenes throughout an episode. She hopes they stay so she can continue to not use them…?

    • Bob says:

      Besides, show renewal is not up to her. If the two “major” stars leave, and ABC decides it’s not worth continuing, they’ll cancel it without much input from her (if any). They can drop Private Practice any time now, too.

      • Chester says:

        Despite what some fans may believe: Shonda is not stupid or delusional. ABC makes the call and she knows it. And if she confirms that season 8 won’t be the last, I’m sure ABC already expressed interest to keep the show going past season 8, no matter who decides to leave or wants to stay. Can’t blame them. For a show of its age GA still brings in pretty good ratings and ABC has nothing down its sleeve that could replace GA on the ratings front rightaway.

  10. Dina says:

    I will leave if Ellen Pompeo leaves. She IS GREY’S ANATOMY SHE IS ITS HEART AND SOUL.

  11. Grace says:

    IF Ellen leaves I’m not interested anymore I’m done

  12. Mads says:

    If Mer and Der don’t come back then I won’t come back. In my opinion, the show has run it’s course and a season without Meredith and Derek will kill it for sure; Shondra needs to stop while she’s ahead.

  13. Walrus says:

    For me, personally, they are my least favorite characters on the show. I’d watch without them.

  14. Bee says:

    unless it had some sudden, random crash in its ratings this season, grey’s was always going to get a 9th season – with merder or not. it has the ratings to do so and ABC can’t afford to let go of their biggest drama hit and 2nd biggest scripted hit overall until they have some nice, new hits to take its place, especially since the crew doesn’t want to end yet either. the real question is which originals will stick around for it.

  15. Matt says:

    Just going to say, the ‘full house already’ comment was to my tweet. I felt pretty cool….for about a minute :D

  16. Leigh says:

    I didn’t watch the end of season seven because it bored me. EP and PD aren’t a requirement for me, good storylines are, and I didn’t get that last season.

    I answered “maybe” and that would still be the answer if they did stay Whether or not I watch next season or any possible future seasons depends entirely on the storylines, not who goes (I’d prefer it if nobody came in, the cast is big enough).

    • K says:

      agreed. The fact that grey’s is already reusing storylines (and making them more boring) is a sign that this show should come to an end

  17. Stefano says:

    First seasons were amazing, there were patiens’ stories that were the backbone of the episode and a sprinkle of romance that made everything interesting. It’s way too gossipy now, it’s all about who’s in relationship with whom. It’s the “Bold and Beautiful” with scrubs. Too bad.

    • alphonse says:

      I agree! I watched the finale of season two the other day and it was BY FAR the best episode/season of Grey’s. Season 1 & 2 were sooo good and the rest have just slowly slid downhill. It’s sad but true.

      • splashgill says:

        Hmm, maybe I should go back and watch those seasons again? I miss George… And Burke. The show was good when we didn’t know if Meredith and Derek would get back together. I know you can only drag it out for so long, but the shows different now.
        Notice how the originals never have their drunken parties anymore? I think there’s too many main characters. And with too many characters, not all the stories are told.

  18. Flossie says:

    I doubt I would watch it without them. I love Patrick Dempsey and as for the characters. The title of the show is GREY’S Anatomy…the whole thing is from her POV…it’s her story. how the hell can they tell her story when she’s not in it anymore???

  19. joterri says:

    If Mer and Der leave in a unresolved way I am out. They are the heart of the show. I have waited patiently for 8 seasons for them to admit they love each other, to get married, have a baby and now they are at odds, again! I hope Shonda gives them a great season and fix this mess. They deserve a great season after this season of Calizona! Enough of Calizona for awhile, but them on the back burner please! I would to see Mer and Der work through this and have the audience fall more in love with with the two. The are two people who are totally different fundamentally But as a couple they are great. Fix this Shonda! I would like the nice sunset with baby in tow please Shonda…then just maybe I will give your show a try in season 9.

  20. Lateef says:

    Unless Rhimes knows more than she’s telling, it’s really not up to her whether the show continues past this season. The decision is ABC’s to make.

  21. madhatter says:

    I wonder why it has to be so all or nothing. Since there’s such a large cast I think it would be possible to have Ellen and/or Patrick reduce to recurring guest star, maybe appearing in only 13 episodes a season. For the episodes without Mer, Lexie could do the voice over (or anyone really, there have been plenty of episodes with other characters doing the VO). Otherwise they could be referenced as having the day off, being in surgery, or we could see only one side of phone calls with them (ie, Christina talking to Mer about some Owen drama but we only see Christina’s part of the conversation). This would allow Ellen and Patrick to do other projects, without leaving the show.
    Also, Ellen was on maternity leave and never missed an episode because they planned ahead and focused more on other characters. Those were some very strong episodes and I think they could do it again.

    • Amy says:

      I personally thought the Mer light episodes were lacking and found myself switching the channel on them. The show lacks without it’s lead Meredith and lexie has no history to SGH (except a barely there connection to Meredith) no real substance of character bot e the voice of the show. If not EP, then please let Sandra Oh or Chandra Wilson take the lead.

      • jess says:

        Great idea! would love it if Bailey took the lead! Always thought she should be the chief instead of Weber

  22. JJ says:

    I think they’ll give Season 9 a go unless ABC gets so many hits that it no longer needs Grey’s. However, I think that’ll be the end. Although I DO think they may get MerDer to make some occasional appearances as a compromise for the duo.

  23. Fido says:

    If Meredith leaves, just rename the series Little Greys Anatomy – sorted :)

  24. Jenn says:

    NO WAY I will watch after season 8 if Patrick and Ellen leave! If they leave season 8 will be my last season whether the show continues or not. Shonda may think Chyler Leigh can carry this show in Ellen and Patrick’s absence but she is sadly mistaken! Most fans will never watch without Mer/Der and if she thinks we will then she is delusional! IF they leave after season 8 and IF the show gets picked up for a 9th season then it will more than likely be it’s last…doubt it would even be picked up for a full season 9!!

    Read more: http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b252136_greys_anatomy_heading_into_its_final.html#ixzz1S21DyQxM

  25. Katie says:

    The show can go on without Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey.. Now, if Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw leave, i’m dropping it.

  26. Seba says:

    I think I will enjoy this show even more if EP/PD leave this show.

  27. Jessica says:

    Shonda is going to hang on until her last breath. I WISH it was going to be the last season though.

    If Ellen and Patrick leave (or even one), I’m done. I just wish Shonda and ABC would let Grey’s die off with a little dignity before the ratings completely bottom out.

  28. Annika says:

    Bailey (Chandra Wilson) can carry this show, IMO. I’m ready for new people and new storylines, more about patients too! Or for it to end, and it’s up to the network and not the creator to decide these things if I’m not mistaken.

    • Annika says:

      Actually, Bailey needs a spin off a la Addison with new interns coming and going every few years!

    • Caro says:

      She get not enough screen time, I agree. She used to be a great character but seems to have vanished into… a shadow of herself. Like Mark. Lots of potential but not enough great stories. Such a pity! Why not focus on what you have instead of bringing more people to the hospital. We didn’t need Jackson, April, Henry! Too bad…

      • mn says:

        I agree, I don’t think they needed the SGH & Mercy West merger, but Jackson and April are good additions….plus they killed off a bunch in the shooter episode. I’ll stick around no matter what though….I’ve been a fan since the beginning :)

  29. s says:

    So since she isn’t adding any new cast members I guess that means Alex won’t be getting any kind of new relationship? Why is he always left OUT? Well I hope he’ll at least get some story. Ugh. I only watch for Alex, MerDer and Cristina. All their stories suck. Once MerDer leave the ratings I’m sure will go down even further than what they have already so why is she talking about S9 already? … GA just isn’t what it use to be. sad. If I were some of those actors I would be smart and leave now.

  30. Me says:

    I use to love Callie & Mark but last season they were destroyed. Actually they were before that but really Wtf wants to watch a show about a happy gay couple and Mark moping around wanting Lexie? um eventually I guess they’ll get together and get married then what? zzzzz dang theres just nothing fun about GA anymore. All couples married or taken. Boring. There should have been only 1 married couple. MerDer.

  31. Me says:

    And what I’m getting at is IF MerDer leave that is what will be left.

  32. Guy says:

    As a huge fan of the show it wouldn’t be the same without them. I feel that however all this talk about them leaving is to make sure ABC gives more money to them not to? I know they have said in the past that they will leave but then again things change. I actually hope they stay on. If not then Grey’s wont be the same

  33. Amandine says:

    Well No way without Ellen ! she’s the heart of Grey’s and the reason I still watch it.
    *Ps : Last season was crap with all the calzona drama ;)

    • Debbie says:

      I’m a hugh Calzone fan. But even with all the Calzone scenes. It really sucked with Mark in the middle. And Callie getting pregnant. Mark pissed me off the whole season. Seem like everytime he opened up his mouth. He was saying I’m the father. I was like give the man another line. LOL!!! The line that pissed me off more than anything and if I had been AZ I’de kicked him right in the balls. Was we can screw and make another baby. That was so disrespectful to Arizona and just WRONG!!! The only 2 scenes that kinda redeemed Mark any last season was when he held AZ while she was crying over her brother and walking Callie down the isle to Arizona. The only 2 episodes with the girls was there wedding and the musical event. And the one minute part where AZ walks in with Callie’s clothes and calls the baby her baby and they kiss. Now if that would have been all we seen of them last season. I would have thought it was a good season for them. And there would have been more time for the other actors. And as I said I’m a hugh “Calzone” fan. But we wasn’t happy with how it all went down either. Hope we get to see more of MerDer and Zola next season. Derrick needs to take his ass back to the house he is a Daddy now:)

  34. Caro says:

    It depends on how PD and EP will leave the show.
    Of course everyone would be thrilled if Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo would stay. But hey, I can see them wanting to leave. So my only hope is, if they were to leave, that Shonda Rhimes will write a beautiful and amazing exit. They need to leave as a happy couple, preferably pregnant hehe, but that is the only way she might keep the die hard MerDer fans. It would be as if Mer and Der could walk through the doors of SGH any minute (although we know they won’t). In our imagination there is still a Meredith and a Derek if we watch Grey’s, even without EP and PD around. But kill them off or break them up and Shonda will loose us forever.

  35. Hallie says:

    Grey’s used to be compelling drama with great storylines mixed with medical mystery. They have been recycling their storylines for a while now and it’s become story driven as opposed to character driven. Let’s have someone have PTSD (insert X), let’s have someone have a baby (insert Y). The cast is so huge that some characters have no interaction with others for years. Previously after a show aired I couldn’t wait until the next one aired. Now I just shrug and say whatever. The writers really need to step it up. I’m barely hanging on as it is. I doubt ABC would keep Grey’s around if their ratings slid like they did this last season. But if they don’t have anything better to replace it with it might get another season. Obviously a show that has been on this long has to evolve and add new characters to keep it fresh and interesting. But not to the detriment of the main characters. Not sure if I would watch if Patrick left but I definitely won’t be watching if Ellen leaves.

  36. Kate Teeger says:

    Yes, I will keep watching. Though I hope there will be more medical related stories

  37. Mohammad says:

    If shonda is tweeting about it means abc has already made a deal with her for season 9. Chyler Leigh said an offer has been made for her to take over. So I’d say they’re already laying down the groundwork for a dempeo-less season 9.

    Of course if it was up to me i’d want the show to end this season.

  38. Mirabel Solis says:

    I will keep watching. I want to see Alex and Cristina as attendings and I hope there will be new interns starting their career at Seattle Mercy West. That’s what Grey’s Anatomy was always about for me. And I like Lexie, but they need to make more of her character. Guess that’s bound to happen once she becomes the Grey in Grey’s Anatomy. But I wouldn’t mind if Meredith stayed. For all I care, they could kill Derek off and keep her.

  39. tvsb3 says:

    as long cristina and owen are still there, i’ll keep watching greys.

  40. Lee says:

    The show will not be the same without Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey just like when Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight left. It could still be good if SO, KMK and JC decide to stay though. Would miss what is left of the the fab 5 and twisted sisters. Hoping they can convince EP/PD to stay one more season and then maybe let Grey’s end somewhat gracefully after that season.

    As long as Sandra Oh and Kevin McKidd are both on and Cristina/Owen are together then I’ll be watching in season 9!

  41. silva says:

    I mainly watch for Cristina and Owen, so if they are there, I’ll watch!

  42. Amy says:

    It’s interesting to see just how many people say they won’t watch the show period or only watch a few more times after Dempsey/Pompeo leave. If you total those, it’s in the high 60 percentage rate. I don’t think it’s just MD (PD/EP) leaving, but the shows overall quality continues to drop and it’s hard to watch as so many of the season one charactes leave. I think when you look at the “I won’t/will only watch a few more times” in this poll, then fans are letting you know right there what the deal is sadly. Maybe Shonda shouldn’t be so rigid in her stance of keeping the show going when it’s lost so much of what made it truly special several seasons ago.

  43. Caro says:

    If Shonda would only listen to her fans… Patrick Dempsey gets it: ” It’s really important that you move forward with the relationships and the fans realise what’s happening and where [the relationships] need to go, and they are very smart. The loyal fans who have been with us since day one want to see these characters grow up and not stuck in an adolescent dynamic.”
    (http://www.musicrooms.net/tv/37584-patrick-dempsey-fears-grey-s-anatomy-monotony.html)
    I’d say: PLEASE give Mer/Der a decent storyline or let them ride off into the sunset, happy together, doing something they love & building their dream house!

  44. olivia says:

    Greys anatomy is a great show!!! After the season 6 finale its hard to top that but its close to being topped. If meredith GREY goes the show will not be GREYS anatomy… if there is going to be a season 9 ellen needs to stay…greys has been one of my favorite shows since season 1 I have watched every season….I miss izzie Stevens. And if Meredith and derek don’t fix their relationship im gonna be super pissed…

  45. Mays says:

    I hope GA stays on a few more seasons…I always enjoy watching and thank God for dvr lol.

  46. joanna says:

    since they are greys anatomy if anatomy i think tat if they leave the show then it should end the sow as the final season

  47. bimbola says:

    pls,let mer/der have a baby together,let them leave as a happy couple,give those of us following from season one something to cherish forever.

  48. Alexandra says:

    Dempsey/Pompeo are being so lame and boring. Pompeo wont find anything else if she leaves this show she just will be forgotten by everyone. Patrick Dempsey has more chance to find something else.

  49. Patrick says:

    I would still see the show if they was gone, but I woukdn’t if Yang diasapired..

  50. HeadDr23 says:

    Wow,some of you people posting on here about shondra and what a liar she is are pathetic. First of all ghost sex never occured and obviously you were not smart enough to pick up on that. Izzy’s illness made her have hallucinations and tactile experiences-NOT Ghost Sex, so get a clue. Those of you who are sick of the show-real simple: stop watching and let the true fans continue being just that: DEDICATED FANS! Meredith is the voice of the show but can it carry on without her and Derek-sure. I will miss them because their dynamics/interactions affect aspects of the show. I have watched GREY’S from day one,own every season of the dvds,watched episodes numerous times and will remain loyal till it goes off the air. Seriously stop the bs and whining-it comes off lame. Don’t like it stop watching!

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