Earlier this summer Patrick Dempsey seemed confused as to whether McDreamy's coming or going, and now Ellen Pompeo says she could be persuaded to stay on after the upcoming season 8.
Pompeo told TV Guide that she's open to the idea of continuing to play Meredith, but that her contract will soon expire and no one's actually asked her to stay on. "I would love the opportunity to discuss it," she says.
"I would never turn up my nose at 'Grey's.' ... If I hear from the fans that they want us to keep going, then I would continue because we owe them everything."
She added that "I know Shonda Rhimes has said the show will continue, but I wouldn't presume that they want to continue with me. You don't get dressed for the party if you don't have an invitation."
Several members of the 'Grey's' cast -- including Sandra Oh -- have contracts expiring at the end of Season 8 and right now it's all still up in the air. It's possible that there could be a mass exodus, but it's also possible that some of them will be renewed. It's also possible that creator Rimes could call time on the drama.
Grey's has survived losing stars such as Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight in the past, and Kate Walsh left to star in the spin-off drama, 'Private Practice.' Pompeo told TV Guide that if Oh left it could create some good on-screen drama: "It might be an interesting story for Meredith to have to deal with losing Cristina."
Pompeo had previously said that she probably wouldn't extend her contract, and Chyler Leigh -- who, of course, plays her character's sister, Lexie Grey -- hinted that she would be willing to step up to the plate in her place.
Earlier this summer Dempsey was reported as telling Italian 'Vanity Fair' that Season 8 would be his last on 'Grey's,' only for his rep to then clarify matters, explaining that when Dempsey said "It's gonna be my last. ... For me it's done," what he really meant was: "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."
Rimes has stayed mum so far on who'd make the roster for a 'Grey's' Season 9, but one thing's certain: The next round of contract negotiations could well turn up a few surprises for cast members and fans alike.
'Grey's Anatomy' Season 8 premieres Thursday, Sept. 22, 9PM ET on ABC.