Patrick Dempsey Confirms Grey's Anatomy Departure

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Start planning your going away party, Grey's Anatomy viewers: Patrick Dempsey will exit the show after next season.

With just one year remaining on his contract, the actor made his intentions clear in an interview with the latest issue of Italian Vanity Fair. He told the magazine:

“It’s gonna be my last. I do not know what’s going to happen to the other characters, but for me it’s done," adding that the decision is “bittersweet because it’s been great and a great part of my life. But I can’t see me doing it anymore.”

D-Shep: The Man

Shonda Rimes has been preparing to bid farewell to both Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo after season eight, though the latter is yet to give official notification.

At least the creator now has time to plan our an official goodbye for Derek. What do you think? Does this guarantee Meredith leaves with him? Sound off now and react to Dempsey's announcement...

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.