Fall TV Preview

Grey's Boss Shonda Rhimes Drops Bombshell: 'I'm Not Going to Say Derek and Meredith Are Never Breaking Up'

Grey’s Anatomy‘s upcoming 11th season will find Derek and Meredith wading through some of the choppiest waters of their marriage. In fact, the seas will be so rough that series creator Shonda Rhimes is no longer ruling out the dreaded B-word. (Quick recap: Mer is refusing to give up her career in Seattle to follow Derek to his dream job in D.C.)

RELATED Grey’s Anatomy Scoop: Alex and Jo’s Latest Threat — Meredith?!

“I’m not going to say that Meredith and Derek are never going to break up,” the empress of Shondaland tells TVLine. “I’m not going to say that simply because we’re writing a story and we’re on this long, long journey. I’ve learned never to say absolutes about anything anymore. People always say, ‘Seven seasons ago you said… ‘ Well, I didn’t think we’d still be here.”

RELATED Grey’s Anatomy End Date Update: Will Season 11 Be the Show’s Last? 

Having said that, Rhimes admits a consciously-uncoupled Derek and Meredith is far less compelling to her than a still-together-and-working-through-their-issues Derek and Meredith. “I was not interested in telling the story of a really good marriage that breaks up because of this,” she explains. “There’s work involved in keeping an amazing marriage amazing, and I would personally like to watch what happens when [they try] to fight through it.”

Grey’s Anatomy returns on Thursday, Sept. 25 in its new 8/7c timeslot.

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  1. Alicia says:

    They haven’t been interesting since 2006 anyway.

    Let this show die with some dignity.

    • Rori says:

      Shonda Rhimes: attention seeking since 2005.

    • Judy says:

      They haven’t been interesting? I guess the “will they won’t they” formula has proven true then which is why every television show avoids putting their lead couple together. I’ve loved the journey. Prefer them together. Would love to see more of them. Hope they fight their butts off this season and come up winning.

      • Jessica says:

        I’m there with you. I loved everything since they got back together for good in season 4. Seeing them committed, together, parents. I hope this is a Shondaland gimmick, and she won’t go there and break them up and their family.

      • Tia says:

        Preach! Hope we’ll see them stronger than ever. I’d rather see a couple together, facing everything together than all the on/off and everything she did to Crowen and Calzona. And ruined both couples. Hopefully she won’t do the same with MerDer like she did with them.

    • Whatevah says:


    • Vi says:

      There’s this wonderful invention called a tv remote. You don’t want to watch? use the remote to change the channel! People complain about how a show was good, then it wasn’t. We aren’t forcing you to watch. So don’t. Some of us still enjoy the show.

      • Sharron says:

        My thoughts exactly!! I am so tired of reading comments from people complaining about the show and I don’t understand why they are wasting their time commenting on a show that they don’t even like. I happen to LOVE this show. Don’t ruin it for those of us who still enjoy it.

      • ASQuiros says:

        I’ve been using the FF button plenty lately, don’tcha know

    • Aussie says:

      Yet here you are commenting on a post about the show.

    • Carrie says:

      Stop watching if you don’t care for it anymore. Personally I would be happy following Meredith’s journey from intern into retirement. I love this show, the characters development and the story lines. I like new characters coming in to play and I like following the twisty mind of Shonda Rhimes. Its not always happy endings or expected but it will be a sad grey thursday when there is no more Gray’s Anatomy. I hope this show keeps going till Zola is an intern and then some!

      • Tia says:

        Haha, the fact there’s people like ”end the show” ”it got boringgg” blah blah, are hilarious, yet they click and read a Grey’s Anatomy related article. :)

        Preach Carrie. ”Personally I would be happy following Meredith’s journey from intern into retirement.” SAME!! And I am happy season 11 will get back to Meredith centric, and stories about her, where she’s the glue of the show like it should be.

  2. Gabriel Anthony says:

    Shonda is definetely jumping the shark! It’s a shame, because greys was one of the best dramas on broadcast tv until season 8 finale

    • Lena says:

      Yep, the plane crash was just ridiculous and the consequences even worse ; Lexie dead, Mark dead, Arizona losing her leg then becoming a bitch …

    • t.w.123 says:

      Agreed. I’m sticking with it for at least this season, but they lost a certain “spark” after the plane crash that they can’t seem to find again.

      • Melissa says:

        Arizona is one of the least likable characters I know. She is a whiny brat and always has an excuse. Shonda doesn’t know how to write happy likable characters. Seasons 1-3 were so good and fun and likable and she has thrown all that away for all the drama she can get, not to mention every good character has left the show—Burke, George, Lexi, Izzy, Mark – and in return we get annoying lame interns that we don’t care about.

        • shutuprob says:

          Yep, if you’re blonde and cute as a button and you lose your leg in a plane crash, you’re not entitled to your trauma, your PTSD and related issues, because you’re blonde and cute as a button. Just suck it up and like it because losing a leg — no big thang. (rolls eyes)

    • S. says:

      They jumped the shark long ago with George/Izzie. I kinda wish Grey’s hadn’t been such a phenomenon. Maybe Shonda could’ve ended it the way she imagined it would end and with most of the original cast. Go on too long and you start losing people, but let’s face it, S4 was where the wheels were coming off the wagon.

  3. Adam says:

    Of course they will cause God forbid this show have two people get together and stay together dispite having struggles.

    • bar says:

      Yeah, because she didn’t just spend two whole freaking seasons having one of the most established couple go through hard, hard knocks and ultimately keep them together. Come on.

  4. JoeTV says:

    This is just suspense-building at best. Shonda clearly wants to see Meredith and Derek work it out but there’s no tension if the viewers don’t believe that there’s a possibility of a break up.

  5. Mamabear says:

    I would never watch this show again if they broke up Meredith and Derek. I have watched from day one and even tho it isn’t as great as it used to be i’m still there in front of the tv on thursdays so she would be losing out on a long time viewer.

  6. Tracy says:

    LOL She’d never break them up. She’s trying to get people talking since Grey’s doesn’t have any buzz going into the new season.

  7. MerDerStrong says:

    I’m just happy that they are finally going to have a storyline together, instead of the leads being a props to others. Ellen and Patrick are going to be brilliant.. saw that already in the amazing scene in the finale. Can’t wait to see more of that. Seeing them working through this. I’m so ready for the angst. ;)

    Don’t believe for a second they are going to break up. This is Shonda’s gimmick to get people talking and freaking out.. like I saw already on twitter.

    Ausiello please interview Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey before season 11, I want to hear mostly from them about this big storyline they have together. Thanks!

  8. Stacey says:

    Clearly a breakup will only come during the next renewal cycle if ABC still wants the show, and the show is still managing to make the ratings. And Ellen wants to stay, and Patrick has finally had enough. Otherwise, we will see them work things out. I still think we will see Derek in the short term this season go to Washington, and Meredith staying in Seattle with the kids, and they will deal long distance and trying to stay married. Amelia will stay with Meredith to help out with the kids, and she will take over Derek’s cases until he returns mid season… The storyline potential in this season of “Meredith” is making it angsty, but no official break up! Especially as she deals with no Christina and a new half sister and changing circumstances in her relationship with Richard!

    • Aussie says:

      Just a thought, I doubt Patrick will walk away from this money maker helping him keep his racing team going. Think about it leave GA the money dries up no more racing.

  9. Jen says:

    I don’t really see this as a giant bombshell. She basically admitted that they’re not breaking up and are going to work through their issues.

    • Emma says:

      Correct, but both Shonda and TVLine are counting on people to only read the headline and freak out. And from what I’ve seen from MerDer stans, they freak out very well (not meant to be rude by the way, I’m a Japril fan and there are plenty of annoying people n that side freaking out because there aren’t any spoilers for them).

      • Tia says:

        I’m a ”MerDer stan” and I am very looking forward for this, there’s a lot of people who are, and of course those who are freaking out. You’ll find everything.. Shonda’s words are meant to freak you out lol.

        Regarding Japril, it’s hard to get spoilers. They are happy and are having a baby.. nothing much to tell about that. They got lots of spoilers and focus on the show and in the media last season with the wedding, while MerDer had nothing, so..

  10. JJM says:

    She’s right. If Grey’s were to be on the air in a couple more years and Patrick or Ellen decided to stay and one wanted to go, she’d have to split them up. A lot of couples have faced it and just because they’re the female and male leads of the show, doesn’t mean they’re not going to be together forever.

    • t.w.123 says:

      Yep! Or break them up for the last few years (if one wanted to stay, and one wanted to go) and then put them back together whenever the show finally ends for good. To a smaller extent, she did the same thing in Private Practice with the Sam and Naomi characters. They had a “will-they?/ won’t- they?” relationship for the first few seasons, then Audra McDonald left the show to go back to her career on Broadway for the next few years. Shonda brought her back for the series finale to re-marry Sam in a surprise for the series finale.

  11. Lets face it, Grey’s peaked with the Denny/Izzie storyline. Since then its been rocky at best.

    • shutuprob says:

      I feel like you haven’t been watching the show for the past four years. “Rocky at best” since Denny/Izzie (I’ll assume you mean seasons 1-2 and not the Ghost Denny storyline of season 5.) Since about a year after George died/around the time that Arizona was introduced, the show has been in its most consistent and consistently high period in its entire history. Sure, not its highest peak, but consistently high with few lows other than the musical. Rocky it has not been.

  12. Sara Leigh says:

    I don’t believe they will break up. Nope.

    Happy they will have a good storyline, hope it will get the focus it deserves. Missed MerDer last season they barely had anything, so I’m all in for this.

  13. Thilia says:

    I am not even sure that I’ll watch the entire season now that Christina is gone. Most of the storylines left are sort of middle of the road. Adding another mysterious sister and Christina leaving were two nails in the show’s coffin. If she did try to pull a stunt like having them go through with them actually breaking up (I don’t think she would) I think a bunch of people would start jumping ship.

  14. Jared Munson says:

    If Grey’s Anatomy makes ER’s 15 season mark…I will be upset. This is definitely more relationship drama than medical series.

  15. Mandy Girl says:

    Was it ever stated that both would be in full seasons for 2 years when they signed? Maybe one only agreed to a few episodes next year so Shonda is preparing people for when one leaves. Or, its just talk to try to make it seem like there’s any stakes at all with their story. If they break up it will be for an episode and she’ll be on twitter telling the MerDer stans its all going to be ok. Like she’s always done.

  16. shutuprob says:

    Shorter Shonda: We don’t know if Patrick Dempsey is going to stay with the show past the end of this year.

  17. Danielle H says:

    Ummm… that BETTER not happen. It would be a disservice to the loyal viewers. That’s one thing she should never touch.

  18. Mer and Der will be forever. POST IT.

  19. Jessica says:

    Shonda better not EVER break MerDer up! If MerDer break up in any way, shape, form, or fashion then I am DONE with Grey’s! She PROMISED us that MerDer would be together forever after season 4 and she needs to keep that promise! MerDer being together is the ONLY reason I still loyally watch! I expect her to respect my loyalty and keep her promise because if she ever breaks them up then she has taken away my reason for watching!

  20. Aussie says:

    Great way to drum roll the drama with that headline.
    Finally Shonda is going to bring the storyline back to the two leads, let’s be realistic the past few season’s have centered on other character’s, so I for one will be happy for this SL to take a leap forward and be the season of the lead “Meredith Grey” and “Derek Shepherd”

  21. Kaliera says:

    I’d love to see Derek and Meredith break up – at least temporarily. Derek emotionally abandoned his first wife. Because of her affair, Addison took the brunt of the blame for their marriage ending, so Derek never really had to own up to how much his own actions drove Addison’s reactions.

    Meredith isn’t Addison, but Derek is Derek, and I think it would be interesting to see Derek repeat some of those same patterns. How Meredith would react to getting the same treatment Addison got – especially with Amelia there to point out the similarities would compelling. And the big question would be – would Derek recognize his faults and behaviors and change his own actions as well? Or would he not even realize his marriage was in danger as before, and leave it all up to Meredith to keep the marriage together?

  22. Nancy says:

    Funny because Ellen Pompeo was interviewed and said there is NO chance of them divorcing. So who do we believe? Shonda or Ellen? I choose Ellen! If she has ANYTHING to say about it mer/der will not break up!

  23. EM says:

    Rhimes is trying to stir up interest. I doubt she will break them up completely..just give them some angst for a few episodes.

  24. Lynne says:

    I for one will quit watching if Mer and Derrick break up, sorry, I love those two characters, and with all they have been thru, enough already. If it’s about Mer, then let her flippin be happy for once. She is already going to find out about another sister, can’t you just leave her marriage alone?

  25. Wayne S. Murphy says:

    It’s just not going to be the same without Yang. Here bitchiness was an absolute magnet.

    • Lourdes says:

      I don’t think Shonda will end their relationship. I think there will be some fighting but eventually they will work things out. They have to. They have a family to think about. Is not just about them. All relationships have their ups and downs. Let’s buckle up and enjoy the ride.

  26. shunda says:

    They had a rocky start. I would like for them to be happy. And you keep taking away the regulars on the show.

  27. Mary says:

    With the comment about working out marriages then Arizona and Callie should also struggle but keep going. No relationship, gay or straight are always smooth; but neither should give up. These two especially.

  28. janice says:

    Love Grey.s. Love Merideth and Derek together. Agree it will be a sad grey Thurs when this show does end.

  29. Cally says:

    I was glad when they finally worked through their issues and got together. It hasn’t been smooth sailing since then, but I never expected nor wanted it to be, but I was happy they finally got past the will they/won’t they thing and finally got them together. I’m fine with angst, but I don’t want it to result in them breaking up. If the back and forth had continued I likely wouldn’t still be watching. They were the first couple I ever ‘shipped’!!

  30. hamid says:

    grey’s anatomy will not be interresting if dereck and meredith breakplease shonda reflect again

  31. Joan Popalis says:

    I do not want to see Meredith and Derek Break up, you keep the family together. I think if you break this family up i would have to stop watching this show.

  32. taylor bell says:

    will they end up together

  33. Megan says:

    Love them and the show. Has always kept me coming back. I think it would nice to have a couple stay together instead of breaking up.

  34. l armstrong says:

    They are complex characters. To give up on their marriage would go against their personalities. They will fight til the end.

  35. katie says:

    Am obsessed with this show yo say the least if mereidith and Derek broke but I heart broken.just please don’t do that and this IA said after the season11 episode 8 do I hope u don’t let April and Jackson baby die either

  36. Avril says:

    Where can I get the sound track to grey’s s 9

  37. Judy Damron says:

    I am not going to watch anymore if they break-up.I say keep them togeather.Show america that family ties a impartant staying togeather.Hangingin is better then hanging out.I’m just saying…

  38. paula todd says:

    If derek and merideth r not together i will stop watching they r the reason i am such a big fan and we need to see more of their kids

  39. paula says:

    If derek and merideth alot then im gone they r the reason i watch the show it helps me believe that people do get a happy ever after