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Ellen Pompeo to Leave Grey's Anatomy in Two Years?

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Ellen Pompeo recently revealed to TV Guide Magazine that after two more seasons as Grey's Anatomy’s Meredith Grey, she’ll walk. That would mean two more after this one.

Creator Shonda Rhimes kept quiet at the time that quote was first uttered, but as that date draws closer, she has some decisions to make about the future of her franchise.

How do you keep Grey’s Anatomy going for a ninth season (crazy to think about)? Can it even be done without the main Grey? Rhimes first planned for this back in 2007.

That's when she introduced Chyler Leigh as Meredith’s little sister, Lexie. But can “Little Grey” really carry the show as the woman who puts the Grey in Grey’s Anatomy?

“It’s possible, but I don’t know that I think of it that way,” says Rhimes.

“In my head, Meredith Grey is staying forever. Ellen says, ‘I have two more years and I’m going to Italy,’ but I also say, ‘Two more years and I’m going to Italy.’"

Closed Circle?

"So I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For me, the show is very tied up in [the relationship between] Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang [Sandra Oh]. If I can convince these original cast members we have left to stay forever, I will get down on my knees.”

Rhimes plans to pull out all the stops next season with episodes returning Meredith and Derek to the hilltop site of their future dream home (see Season Four finale).

“I want to see some house-building,” teases Rhimes.

As for really little Greys filling up rooms there?

“Meredith has said she’s up for baby-making. It was her never-say-never moment,” reminds the show-runner of Meredith’s recent 180 on having children. “The issue as to whether or not they’ll have kids is addressed in the [May 20] season finale.”

Jackson and Lexie Pic

Rumors that Patrick Dempsey may also want out when his contract is up have also surfaced of late, but Rhimes won't have to ask certain stars twice to stay.

Jesse Williams (Jackson) wouldn't mind being McDreamy Jr. to Lexie ... nor would she. “That’s because those two get along like gangbusters,” says Rhimes.

“But I think Justin [Chambers] would fight him for that, because he wants the same thing.” Hmm ... perhaps Mark Sloan has something to say about it too?

Can you see the show going on without Meredith and/or Derek? Can you see Grey's going past a seventh or eighth season at all? Comment below!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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As sad as it is..shows go on longer than they should. The show did last after Izzy and George left, but alas, they were not as main as Mer and Derek. I think the show is going to go downhill after they leave.....unfortunately.

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Remember how bad ER got? It lost it's magic when all the original stars moved on. It would be difficult to keep original fans watching a new cast. Meredith = Grey's. I will be so sad to see my favorite show go but it would be better to end it on a high note instead of dragging it out painfully.

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If Meredith or Derek leaves there will be no Greys Anatomy. If this happens i'm done watching this show!

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I dont think I could keep watching with Mer and Derek gone. Them and Christina and Owen are the main reason I watch. Maybe, but If Sloan goes I am def gone. I got a feeling it wont work without them

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I think the show can last longer. There not replacing them just her sister is taking the place. They should try it for one season, see what peple say and decide from there. It might be like one tree hill. Have peyton and lucas leave, but people still watch it.

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Without Meredith and Derek it won't be Grey's. While I appreciate the B Team on the show, (especially now that that terrible Pixie hair cut actress is gone), I can't concept them as the "A" team. I followed Katherine Heigl over from Roswell to Grey's. I love my first string docs but the second and third team? Just don't work as well. (BTW, I'm including Callie in the "A" team as well as Arizona.)

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There is no way Grey's Anatomy can still be the same without the character of Meredith. That would be ridiculous. Just like a movie can't be titled Batman when Batman isn't there. It was hard to watch it when George was killed off... for a while I simply watched it whenever I have nothing else to watch. Then I completely lost interest when Izzie also left. But then Arizona came in an that got me hooked again. I was not affected with Burke, because I did not like him that much. But why are these original characters being let go so easily? Why can't they be just like the Friends cast who started and ended the show still intact??? What is the production team doing wrong???

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I can not imagine Grey's Anatomy without Meredith, Derek, and Christina, we have already lost Dr. Burke, George, and Izzy honestly watching a show without the original doctors is very difficult. I lost interest when the original cast of ER left. Honestly there is no Grey's Anatomy without the main character Meredith and I cannot imagine mer without yang they are what made the show such a success.

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ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I watch this show for the main characters from Season 1!!! anyone who has been watching this show since the beginning will agree, while Little Grey and the like are ok, we watch this show so that we can get our Meredith, Christina, Derek...etc fix. If Meredith and Derek go then I for one will go as well.

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No I can't see the show going on without Meredith and Derek they make the show they already let Izzie and George go it just wouldn't be the same. With all the new people it's not the original. It would be just like days of our lives it's not the same with all those people from passions coming on there I get confused.