Grey's Anatomy's Pompeo, Dempsey and Other Original Cast Members Sign New 2-Year Deals

The doctors are in!

TVLine has confirmed that original Grey’s Anatomy castmembers Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers, James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson have all inked new two-year deals to continue with the ABC medical drama.

Our sister site Deadline first reported the news.

RELATED | Grey’s Anatomy Star Says Season Finale Death Was ‘Heart-Wrenching’ to Shoot

Showrunner Shonda Rhimes told TVLine in January that she was resolved to designing a fitting finale to Grey’s current eighth season, despite not knowing which members of the original cast would and would not return next fall.

RELATED | Season Finale Guide: Exclusive Spoilers on 52 Big Finishes — Including Grey’s Anatomy!

“[It] was the most complex puzzle I’ve had to put together — ever,” she shared. ”We have all these moveable pieces of who’s coming back and who’s not, and finally I just decided to focus on what was going to be best creatively [and] make it work regardless of what is happening [off screen].”

ABC has yet to formally order a ninth season of Grey’s; the network reveals its 2012-13 TV schedule next Tuesday.

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228 Comments
  1. D says:

    I just really really hope that Callie is not the one that dies because I really don’t know if can keep watching without her.. She has been my favourite character since she was introduced and was the only reason I kept watching during the train wreck that was season 4.

    • greysfan says:

      There is a huge reason for Callie not dying and that is Arizona’s friend is dying and it would be awful to have your 2 best friends die.

      • Caro says:

        Yes but Shonda is good in ruining good people… and she feared what this death would do regarding the fan base… so I really think Callie could be the death everyone is talking about.

  2. susela says:

    Well, Katherine Heigl’s been saying she wants to come back—so my hope is that they bring back Izzie and kill her off for good.

  3. Craig says:

    I don’t understand why people assume or believe Mark Sloan to be an “Original” He didn’t appear in Grey’s until the back end of season 2. Jessie has come out and stated that the death is hard for him to deal with as he’s very close to the actor that’s leaving. Although Eric Dane’s contract is still valid with the show, he is looking very ill at the moment. After having skin cancer in 2008 and rehab last year for the pain med addiction… Surely it wouldn’t be a shock of there was an underlying reason for his current appearance. Looking very drawn and ill, isn’t Mark Sloan’s death a possibility based on Eric maybe wanting to leave?! Alot of people seem to be over looking this as a scenario.

    • Christina says:

      People are overlooking it because Ausiello said Mark was safe.

      • Craig says:

        Although Mike Ausiello does get a lot of things right, he doesn’t work on Grey’s, write for Grey’s or has any say in the story lines, casting and direction of the show – hes just a guy that gets alot of inside scoop from inside connections. In essence if Perez Hilton came out and said that Callie wasn’t going to die, would we take it as gospel and scratch her off the list of possibilities?!! … Ausiello is only as good as his sources, and to be honest they can tell him anything really.

    • Caro says:

      Callie is the ‘oldest’ original there is. She was on the show long before Lexie, Arizona, Teddy and Owen. Her death would be the possible one…

  4. Mahala says:

    Eric Dane had somewhat of a scare with skin cancer on his lips some time ago (like in early 2008 or late 2007), before he even started looking ill. He didn’t undergo chemo or anything major like that, though he did have an allergic reaction to a cream he was given as part of the treatment. Though the addiction issues are another story…all I can say is, I hope he will come back to the show if he is up to it, and Chyler Leigh as Lexie too. Mark and Lexie have always had the promise, potential, and chemistry and it’s ridiculous what the writers have done to them since season six, just a pure waste. They’ve been far more relevant than these other people, like Jackson, April, Teddy…yet you’d never know it and it’s not fair. Not fair to the actors or their fans. Get rid of Jackson/April/Teddy, then Shonda Rhimes, ABC, and Katherine Heigl should all eat crow so she can come back and Alex can have a decent and consistent story-line again. I don’t like this intern Morgan, all of Alex’s love interests have been inferior to Izzie.

    • Caro says:

      I agree with you on Mark/Lexie. They’re great together! I really hope Lexie/Mark won’t get killed off. But Ausiello said he’s safe, so I don’t fear for him. I do fear about Lexie, though!
      I also don’t mind about Callie, Arizona, Jackson, April. But we still don’t know what will happen to Owen! He could also be the one dying!!! THAT would make all the writers and cast cry… also when Callie or Arizona would die. Shonda said she feared about making this decision, so it must be a huge character so in my opinion it could only be Lexie, Callie, Arizona or Owen. C/A would mean no lesbian couple any more so that would leave either Lexie or Owen… :(

  5. Jenny says:

    I’m confused I thought Patrick Dempsey was leaving at the end of this season. Didnt he announce it last year?

  6. Caro says:

    This is such great news!! I really feared Shonda would kill Derek, but now I know he’s safe (unless this entire story isn’t true). Now I only hope Chyler Leigh will renew, and the ‘devastating death’ will be either Callie or Arizona. One of them dying would explain the cast and writers crying… not if it were to be Avery or April, in my opinion. It could also be Teddy of course, or Lexie, or Mark… I really hope it’s not Mark or Lexie!!!!

    • greysfan says:

      Chyler Leigh is still under contract. She doesn’t need to renew because of this. Its only the original cast that had to renew. However in regards to who is being killed off regardless of how it could be anyone. Signed or not signed. I am sure there is clauses in their contracts that anytime you are not safe. This is a tv show afterall.

  7. Dave says:

    I hope it’s either Owen or Teddy who bites the dust. I think they’re useless to the show.
    The others are more interesting (April included) and funny (I always smile when Callie, Arizona or April are in the scene).

  8. Dave says:

    oh and also Lexie, I like her, too :-)

  9. sarah says:

    I am so glad to know that the ‘originals’ signed back up. I was really afraid they would try and push the show forward without the remaining people who were there from the beginning. I’ve always said that once Ellen, Patrick, Justin and Sandra want out they should just end it.

    I’m assuming the people that resigned are safe only because the episode was written and filmed before they signed. Why bother re-signing a contract at all if your character got killed off? Especially for two more seasons. That really doesn’t make any sense. It would be a different story if they signed AND THEN the episode was written and filmed.

    Of course who knows, I guess this whole re-signing thing could be a fake out, but, that seems like a really dumb lie to tell people just to have a shocker of a finale.

  10. MC Maine says:

    It would be fun if Shonda brought back Izzie and killed her off. Ellen Pompeo was on Chelsea Handler’s show and laughed when she was asked if Heigl could return. But can’t you just see that as part of a disinformation campaign?

    If not Izzie, I’m guessing Callie. She’d be doing SaRa a favor. She’s wasted on Grey’s.

  11. Carla says:

    So that means Derek’s not going to die! YAY :D I can watch much more relaxed now.

  12. Joe says:

    Callie dies, Meredith takes over ortho…Arizona leaves the show and Alex takes pediatrics…Mark and Lexie get back together and she helps him raise the baby. The end

    • JBS says:

      Although it would be hard on some fans (me included) for Callie and Arizona to both leave, I like the way you think.
      Using your ideas as a springboard, I have some more:
      – Teddy leaves the show or dies (I’m not picky) and Cristina takes over Cardio [in a dream world, they make her boards examiner (William Daniels’ character from last week) a recurring guest star]
      – Owen leaves the show or dies (again, I’m not picky) and they either make Richard Chief again OR they bring in Jackson’s mom (Catherine) to become the new Chief of Surgery
      – Adele dies of her Alzheimers (it is inevitable) so that way, Richard and Catherine can officially become a couple.
      – I don’t know why, but in my mind, April should stay; I just don’t know how they fit her in. Maybe she teams up with Bailey in General Trauma.
      As long as Derek stays as Head of Neuro and Mark and Jackson stay as a team in Plastics, it’ll be all good to me.

  13. Sly says:

    Who are the people we see in the helicopters the most??? Alex and Arizona…they go the other childrens hospitals….And Bailey. Everyone forget about bailey?

  14. sladewilson says:

    I’m thinking Adele will pass on but that’s not “The Death”. Right now, I believe it’s a toss-up between April and Teddy.

  15. Sly says:

    It’s going to be someone we all forgot about. Lol

  16. Isabella says:

    I can’t see Callie dying, she already had her big accident and it seems repetitive for her to be in another crash

  17. carol says:

    so happy!!!!!!! :)

  18. Lu says:

    Maybe Arizona? Jessica Capshaw is pregant again with her third child, (I think they are all under 3!!!) she could definitely use some time off.

    On an unrelated note has anyone else noticed that Eric Dane (Mark) has dyed his hair dark brown? He looks 10 years younger!

  19. Katie says:

    Hmmm…. “Promise me you’ll never leave” is notorious foreshadowing, I’ve got a bad feeling about Callie.

  20. Leila says:

    They should have made tonights episode the finale…..

  21. Jessica says:

    Well its pretty certain who dies if you’ve seen tonight’s episode based on the fact all but two of the actors involved signed on for 2 more years. If they really wanted to keep us on the edge of our seats they should’ve made the announcement next Friday. Now the death is obvious unless its completely unrelated to what just happened.

  22. JBS says:

    Well considering how tonight’s episode progressed, I would have been satisfied had they went ahead & make this the finale. There would definitely be a cliffhanger had it been done.
    But seriously, “Promise me you’ll never leave” might as well have been written as “Either you’re gonna die next Thursday or I’m gonna die next Thursday.” Now the question is will it be Callie or Arizona? IDK, but I’ll be sad either way if it’s either one of them or really shocked (out of happiness) if neither of them die.

  23. RUCookie says:

    in the crash scene, both Arizona and Lexie were pinned… so unless they pull a bait and switch, it is likely one of the them.

  24. Dorothy says:

    HERE ARE MY PREDICTIONS:

    ARIZONA or CALLIE that way karev stays at seattle to either take arizonas place or to comfort arizona because callie dies, therefore explaini why he doesnt go to hopkins

    Or it’s LEXIE as jackson said it’s someone he spent a lot of time with AND there have been spoilers that mark/lexie storyline would be bittersweet. Mark is clearly still in love with her and probably tells her but then she dies.

    Or it’s APRIL because jackson has also had tons of screentime with her and either the suicide storyline could work or she dies in a helicopter crash

  25. Dorothy says:

    ALSO shonda mentioned a lot of lives were hanging in the balance so most likely ARIZONA dies therefore karev stays and takes her place explainng why he doesnt go to Hopkins and perhpas LEXIE is badly hurt in the crash like has memory loss or is paralyzed temporarily which explains why meredith stays in seattle and doesnt go to boston

  26. Dorothy says:

    And in the preview when they say “for one of themit will truly be the end’ they go to clips of arizona and lexie so i’m sure that it’s one of them who die

    • Donna says:

      I think you are right. They are dispensable and now that they have all signed on for two years Lexie is especially the one least important.

  27. ingreenmts says:

    I think Lexie dies. It has been known for several weeks that Ellen had already signed her contract. I think there was an article in some European magazine indicating that. This means that Shonda could feel free to kill off Lexie (as if that would even have held Shonda back). If Chyler wanted a lighter schedule, killing her would certainly free up her time for her new baby. Killing Lexie would affect many. She has been sexually involved with Alex, Avery and Mark. She is related to Derek and Meredith. Killing this character would impact many of the staff. Young life with lots of promise about to find out what would happen with her true love – what a gigantic loss to Seattle Grace! Plus she was the only cast person missing from the cast party. Killing Callie makes no sense as Shonda LOVES Sara. You don’t kill off the person you just spoke of as a main star of your struggling in the ratings show. Killing Arizona only affects Callie and Karev slightly. Not enough impact there. Also Capshaw said on one of the daytime shows that having kids won’t take her from Greys. She rushed back after the last pregnancy. I do think Arizona is BADLY hurt though leading into some serious angst next season – reason why Capshaw was one of the last ones taping. Shonda would not kill Callie and Arizona any more than Derek or Meredith. The show has a big gay following now. Kill of Callie or Arizona, ratings would drop, and this is really Shonda’s only “stable” show. So I still think it is Lexie.

  28. Jessica says:

    Well I think it can easily be narrowed to Lexie or Arizona that die, now. But I think it’s going to be Lexie. OR I think at least Lexie will have serious injuries and maybe even memory loss, hence the bittersweet comment about Mark & Lexie. Even though the preview makes it seem like Derek could be dead, I’m sure they will find him and he’s injured but not dead. Damn is all I have to say about that ending though…

    Yeah if that happens, Meredith & Derek will stay in Seattle to help Lexie through her recovery. Karev will stay to replace Arizona. Frees up room in the budget for April. Cristina will have this life or death moment that will make her decide to stay with Owen in Seattle. And Jackson will stay for whatever reason. But now I’m wondering if Bailey & Ben are going to move. The description for next week says that they make a major life decision. And Shonda did talk about having some people not at Seattle Grace now. But I find it hard to believe she would do that with Bailey. I would only think she would do that with Meredith/Derek, Cristina or Karev, and even Cristina or Karev I’m not so sure she would do that. So maybe Bailey & Ben decide to get married and he either gives up the internship, or manages to switch to intern at Seattle Grace? Can’t wait till next week!

  29. Rachel says:

    It will be either Lexie or Arizona because an article said that the death will take place at the crash site….we already know Christina, Meredith, and Derek are safe because they all renewed their contracts. Mark is safe because it said so in a earlier article….so Lexie or Arizona. Unless I missed somebody else on the plane.

  30. xxx says:

    I saw on person saying on eonline its sara ramirez coz she was looking for apartments in new york coz she got cut off the show….dunno if its true :(

  31. beth says:

    Lexie or Sloan is who I’m thinking. I would like to spend the next 2 seasons with happy happy time. The plane crash was pretty silly can’t wait to see where Derek is since he got “sucked out of the plane” !

  32. Cat3fan says:

    Just because someone “dies” they don’t necessarily have to stay dead. Remember the ferry boat episode? Meredith died but was revived. What if someone appears to die at the end of the episode and then is saved at the beginning of next season? This would make sense to me. I am also thinking that it may not be related to the plane crash as that seems a bit too obvious. We shall see in 4 days!

  33. Maria says:

    April dies. Not suicide, but some accident related to her sorrow drinking… be it a DUI, or she stumbles into traffic, alcohol poisoning… whatever. What makes it so sad is that Avery gets to her bedside just on time to declare his “undying love” for her just before her heart stops beating.

    Well, that’s what I see happening! It would be too easy if it were someone from the crash!

  34. saysomething says:

    This has to be a death that will make every one stay in Seattle.I can think of any ones death that would compell EVERYONE to stay.

  35. deanna says:

    I believe it’s going to be arizona she already told callie that she can’t handle the future death of her friend ..she said, and im quoting last epidode in which arizona told callie” I can’t do that again I won’t do that again”… think they are going to play on that and arizona going to die in the plane crash.. it will then seem to callie almost like she wanted to go to spare herself that future grief…

  36. Michele says:

    After following all the news/gossip/spoilers and by watching the show looking for clues, I think it will either be Arizona or April.
    Since the boards epi, I thought it was gonna be April via suicide. Especially after this week when she was having all of her job offers revoked. She is hitting rock bottom and maybe she doesn’t see a way out. Because she is a Christian and also the butt of a lot of jokes, her suicide would impact all of the residents. Some may even feel responsible (aka: Jackson) creating lots of potential drama.
    But this week’s episode, has me thinking it could be Arizona ( :'( ). She is very accustomed to loss and she confessed her fears about losing someone else to Callie. Also, thanks to the “cliffhanger” at the end of the episode we know she was on the plane and it apparently crashed.
    Personally, I would ball my eyes out and be very, very upset to see Arizona die. I love her character and I think Jessica Capshaw is a wonderful actress. I think the suicide would be poignant and deeply moving, but the loss of Arizona would be gut-wrenching. The more I actually think this through, I feel as though it will be Arizona as much as I would hate the show for it. (Of course, I will still be watching it come fall no matter what.) Man I really hope I’m wrong…

  37. dlferriola says:

    I still think it is Lexie because those pictures of her are so haunting. I just do not see her surviving her injuries. Cristine & Sloan look distraught as well about her I am thinking also.

  38. emily says:

    You guys know technically she could kill off meredith. Greys anatomy is actually the name of a medical book.

  39. princess says:

    Lexi died

  40. Debo says:

    Yes, I watch for Alex too. So gald he resigned. I hope he finds true love this season or they bring Izzie back. Lexie was my other favorite. Hate to see that she’s gone with an unfinished story line between her and Mark.

    • Donna says:

      She released a statement today that she told Shonda the 8th season would be her last and they worked on an acceptable exit for her character. So all the speculation is gone now that she admitted she wanted out permanently. Sad that she did not want an exit that was happier, more open ended and would allow her
      to return for the final season shows.

  41. Amelia Hale says:

    Crap. Didn’t Eric and Jessica sign?

  42. Lisa Connor says:

    i really really REALLY HOPE nothing happens to Arizona and Callie, they are why i watch this show! DONT KILL THEM! They are the closest the show comes to a happy relationship.

  43. Sara says:

    I really miss Lexie! I loved her :(