Fall TV Preview

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.