The End Of
McDreamy & Mer?

The Internet is abuzz with news that Patrick Dempsey may be leaving behind Grey's Anatomy, Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd and Meredith. The word came directly from the actor himself, who said next season is "gonna be my last." Now his rep seems to be backpedaling. Dempsey and onscreen wife Ellen Pompeo's contracts are both up. The other original castmembers Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. should be in the same boat, but the docs have at least one last year at Seattle Grace in them.

Are Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo (Derek & Meredith) leaving Grey's Anatomy?

"I do not know what's going to happen to the other characters, but for me it's done," Patrick Dempsey revealed in an interview with Italian Vanity Fair. He adds that leaving Grey's Anatomy would be "bittersweet, because it's been a great part of my life. But I can't see me doing it anymore."

Once that bombshell hit, Dempsey's rep jumped in with a statement clarifying, "He was referring to the fact that his contract is up at the end of next season and we have no idea what the future holds."

The season eight exit for Dempsey does, however, gel with what head scribe Shonda Rhimes said just a few weeks ago. In an interview with TV Line, Rhimes revealed the Grey's Anatomy finale fireworks were setting up big exits coming in the 2012 season.

First, however, she plans on having some fun with the remaining original castmembers next year, in season eight.

Meredith, Derek, Cristina & Alex's final hurrah?

Will Sandra Oh and Justin Chambers leave Grey's Anatomy after season 8?

When throwing a wrench in Derek and Meredith's marital bliss and Cristina and Alex's romances in the season seven Grey's Anatomy finale last month, Shonda Rhimes maintains she didn't worry about the fan fury that might arise.

"I was busy thinking about setting us up for next season, which might be the final season for [the remaining original castmembers]," she explained. "I wanted to spend next season doing nothing but telling stories about the originals, and I felt like in order to do that, we wanted to put everybody in a place where the focus was squarely on Meredith and Derek, Cristina, Alex."

While Rhimes mentioned characters played by Ellen Pompeo, Dempsey, Sandra Oh and Justin Chambers by name, there are two other characters who fit the bill: Chandra Wilson's Miranda and James Pickens Jr.'s Chief Webber.

When a show lasts this long, such exits are inevitable and in the past, Rhimes made it clear she believes the show can survive without the original players, though she has admitted she can't quite see it yet.

Of course, with a season to go, contract negotiations and hot storylines could easily end up keeping any of them in the game, including Dempsey. In the meantime, just in case, Rhimes is planning to give fans one final blow-out year with the docs who first made us fall in love with Seattle Grace.

Stay tuned for more on this story, and if you read Italian, check out the Dempsey feature here and let us know what we missed!

Tags: justin chambers

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Comments on "Are Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo leaving Grey's Anatomy?"

mahnoor May 19, 2013 | 3:38 AM

This will be the biggest factor that. Everyone. Will stop watching Grey's anatomy......

Gbemi May 24, 2012 | 10:51 PM

if patrick demsey is leaving grey's anatomy as well as the original cast members(later) they might as well end it. i cant stand to watch it. every1 cant just leave i mean they are the basis of the show.

Michelle May 16, 2012 | 12:21 PM

I cannot continue to watch without Mer or even Derek. They make the show... Love to see them.

Jenna-Leigh May 03, 2012 | 7:51 PM

I agree with ardeth. If one leaves they both should. And I am saying that as a fan who would be crushed if either or both left. I would likely stop watching if either and or both of them left. The show is Grey's Anatomy - and yes I am aware that is the name of a medical book - but how can there be a Grey's Anatomy with out Meredith Grey and how can there be a Meredith Grey that we all cheer for and cry for/with if there is no Derek Shepherd? I don't think that any of us who really love the show would be able to continue watching.

ardeth sneath April 26, 2012 | 9:10 PM

Started watching grey's anatomy about 5 yrs ago. Having worked most of my life I didn't watch much TV. Now that I can grey's is my favorite. Can't watch if Derek and Mer leave the show. But, if they do just let them "ride off in the sunset." PLEASE don't kill them off. If one goes they both should. Please consider very seriously. Thanx

Jessica December 25, 2011 | 4:34 PM

Patrick Dempsey CANNOT leave grey's anatomy. If he does I will be devastated.

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