Grey's Anatomy Season 12

Grey's Anatomy Scoop: Shonda Rhimes on 'Rebirth' for Meredith, 'Exciting New Romances' for Callie and Arizona

Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes let her spoiler guard down Tuesday while speaking with reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, divulging a number of teases about Season 12 of the ABC drama. Here are the standout scoops:

* The new season of Grey’s takes on “a much lighter tone” in the wake of Derek’s death, Rhimes shared. “Meredith is single and she is living this life that she’s never thought she’d be living again. She’s living in a house with her sisters. She’s surrounded by women who are dating and having a whole life and she’s not interested in all that. [Meredith is] starting to wonder is there a second life here or are your best years behind you? I guess the theme[of Season 12] is rebirth. That evolution for that character is beautiful”

* Despite buzz that new cast member Martin Henderson was coming on as a love interest for Ellen Pompeo’s newly-widowed character, Rhimes insisted that she’s still figuring out “what I’m doing with [him],” adding that the Off the Map actor doesn’t even debut until “the middle of the season.”

* Three months will have lapsed when the new season picks up and Rhimes confirmed that April made good on her threat to resume her overseas work, leaving Jackson high and dry once again.

* There will “definitely some new romances for” Callie and Arizona this season, Rhimes revealed, adding. “And some pretty exciting ones, too.”