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How Many More Seasons Will Grey's Anatomy Run?

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Grey's Anatomy's Season 6 finale was one of its most gripping episodes in a long time, and its ratings proved the medical drama can still deliver in that department as well.

But how long will the show keep going? We've debated at length whether its best is behind it already, and there is the major issue of keeping a large, talented cast intact.

Ellen Pompeo recently said that "when my contract is up after Season Eight [in two years], I would probably not renew. I think the world has had a lot of Meredith Grey."

Could the show continue post-Meredith Grey if Ellen were indeed serious? Do other original cast members share that view? Who would be irreplaceable and who wouldn't?

Perhaps more significantly, is there enough material to sustain Grey's Anatomy at a high level? Based on its fans and staying power, two more seasons seem reasonable.

The Chief's Wife

Could Grey's Anatomy survive without ... well, Grey?

Beyond that, though, is a different story. Few shows make it this long, let alone a ninth season. Between cast turnover and dwindling story lines, it's simply a tall order.

This gets us thinking - should the show pull the plug on itself, a la Lost, and announce an end date now? Lost was slated to go off the air this month way back in 2007.

The idea behind this was to cut out filler episodes while giving producers time to plan an appropriate end (although whether they accomplished this is highly debatable).

Might it help give Grey's Anatomy the best possible direction to have an end date in mind, though? Might we get the best possible story lines from the best characters?

Or would you like to see the show follow the lead of ER, with more single character-centric episodes and a large, diverse cast that can withstand high-profile departures?

Note that there is no talk of this happening - it's just us throwing it out there for debate. We can see definite merits of both angles, but are curious what you all think.

Should Grey's Anatomy set an end date?

 

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

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@ JDC
As far as i know (actually i'm sure) all the original cast has signed to stay for at least 8 seasons so the only one that was let go without asking was Isaiah Washington but the others they asked to be released from their contract Katherine Heigl's been bugging Shonda Rhimes and ABC for 3 years now and T.R knight asked also to be released so it was not Shonda's wish as for Patrick Dempsey & Ellen Pompeo they never asked to be released all the buzz about them leaving is for nothing in many interviews i heard Patrick saying that he's fortunate to be working and having this chance and he's there as long as they want him and for Ellen also she always said she was thrilled o be on the show all she said was that she might not renew her contract after season 8 if the show continued but she added that it doesn't mean that she won't 'cose all is possible in life... so all i can say is don't worry we're on the safe side for @ least 2 more seasons assuming that the show will continue after season 8 if it continues i think we have to worry if Ellen didn't renew her contract 'cose i think Patrick won't 'cose what would be the point to watch Der without Mer so let's hope for the best :)

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Hm... I went to Grey's Gabble for the first time which was interesting footage I haven't seen before. I must say Katherine Heigl on the Jay Leno show was interesting. She knows how to be entertaining and I felt bad for her when she was saying "this is so horrible" about her brother dieing. Anyways... @ soso So did you mean they are doing an extra season after season 7 because they are signed up until season 8? They have always been contracted up until season 8. I thought you meant another season, which would be season 9? Yes, no? Also, anyone else got other spoiler sites that updated as good as tvfanatic? Ew.com doesn't seem too up to date, but Grey's Gabble was.

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I can't give you a link JDC, but I look at things like Spoiler TV, Grey's Gabble, ew.com. etc. I read all this info in the last month or so. But GA does earn ABC a lot of money, PD and EP have reportedly signed up to S8, and SR does want them to stay with GA

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@ soso OH MY.... Link me to the source please. This better not be a joke, because if it isn't you just made my freaking summer...

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@soso
AMEN!!!

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GA is the fourth highest earner for tv programmes. Other series e.g. 'The Mentalist' have higher ratings, but not necessarily a high spending target audience advertising revenue wise who'll buy the dvd also. SR reportedly said she'd go down on her knees to keep EP and PD in GA. Well they've agreed to appear in an extra season, which really is great news. But I would hate to see GA decline and outlive it's original sparkle, like ER. Lost has finished after S6. Smallville will end after S8.If GA finishes after S8 when EP and PD have had enough, that'll be OK. GA started with MerDer, it should have an end scene of MerDer. No GA with out THE GREY, Meredith!

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if Capshaw, Ramirez, Oh and Wilson I wouldn't had kept watching the show, but now there are all full time. And I LOVE them! And I just Can't wait for season 7, 8 and hopefully 9!!

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The show won't be able to survive the lost of the two mains. A percentage of the Grey watchers watch it for Derek and Meredith and i don't think there's enough material for the show to continue for too long.

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In this last season Shonda has experimented the introdution of new characters and this didn't do so well to show.This means that the original cast is and 'll be always what likes to the pure people without george and izzie.The season final has shown who's that has made great this show ,the original cast and the main character of the show,that's MEREDITH ,CRISTINA,DEREK,ALEX,AND BAILEY FOR THE LIFE.So i 'm not able continue to see GA without Meredith in the first place and Derek in the second place and for continuing with Cri ,Alex and Bailey.Lexie cuoldn't never take the place of Meredith .I watch the show for her ,because i 'm a dark and thirsty person,too.I 'll not watch more this show without Meredith or other that i just said.

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Well i just love the show i would probably watch it if it went on forever :) but let's be realistic it depends on many things i mean if Ellen & Patrick didn't renew their contract in 2012 then there should be no point in continuing another thing is that gladly and saddly at the same time Grey's is on one of the most important tv company which is ABC but it's sad 'cose ABC doesn't allow her shows to go on if they start to lose market share (audience) so they would cancel a show even if it attracts 7 or 6 million viewers where other channels would keep a show even if it attracts 1 or 2 million viewers or maybe less............... Let's just hope they'll continue to be creative enough i mean if they pull a few episodes in S7 like the finale we'll be on the safe side beyond season 8 but i don't wanna think about it and be depressed 2 years ahead :)

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith
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