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+.


@Aries93 um, shows can't have hurt feelings. and saying that we think the show is going down hill isn't stabbing it in the back, it's simply the truth, that's what we think. whining about how we should be nice to a tv show of all things isn't rebutting, it's silly. it's just a tv show! we don't need to like it anymore


So I think that it's okay if Patrick leaves. He signed a contract for 8 years and he's been there the whole time. He kept his promise, not like some others (Katherine Heigl, though she had a good reason, T.R.Knight) and so even though I'm Patrick's biggest fan ever, it sure makes me sad that he leaves, but everything has an end and if he says that he's not comfortable by continuing to be Derek Shepherd, than I respect his decision. And all of Grey's fans should respect it. Come on guys. He kept his promise, he made us all happy by not leaving, now it's our turn to support him. He wants to make more movies! The bill is better and if he loves it more, I'm happy for him. For Ellen, if she leaves, of course it will be awkward because Grey's was made for her in the first place. Grey's without MerDer will be weird, for sure. But there's other characters. Chyler Leight (Lexie) could for sure take the lead, even Ellen said that if she doesn't renew her contract, she'd be happy to see Chyler take the lead. Not replace her, just continue. Though, I think I'd prefer for to show to end. Because like I said, everything has an end and I think Shonda has to realise that it might be the time to let go of Grey's. If Patrick leaves and Ellen stays in season 9, I think what I'd love to happen is for Derek to die (I'd rather have that than see him leaving Meredith) and in season 9, we see Mer dealing through the grief of her husband's death and keeping up with Zola. What could also be nice is for her to discover that she's pregnant. And at the end, when she gives birth, her son's name would be Derek Christopher Shepherd. :) alright alright, I'm dreaming too much.


The rating for season 7 should drop a bit_we have not significant finale and we have horrible musical


I can imagine GA without Derek but I can not imagine it without
Meredith. If EP leaves and the others do not leave the show should be change its name -may be SGH .


@katiej: It mad not be the 'stick-your-head-in-the-sand-and-praise-grey's-no-matter-what website', but it's also not the 'I'm gonna stab the show in the back and abuse it because I feel like website' either. I may be the only one defending the show right now, but that's because I'm the part of the ratings that tune in every episode. And while it comes to critics, you should also look at the ones whom praise the show. Every critic has an opinion. So yeah, you're allowed to say that you're not a fan and you don't approve of the casting choices, but you cannot sit there on your computer and keyboard-abuse a TV show that others love and not expect a rebuttal. And if you don't like it, then don't read the comments that you find defending the show.


@Aries93, because this isn't the 'stick-your-head-in-the-sand-and-praise-grey's-no-matter-what website?' if we think the show has gone downhill, which both ratings and critics would suggest, we're allowed to say so. if you don't want to hear criticism then don't read the comments or reviews.


I don't understand why people are commenting with things such as:
"This show has been crap for a while. It should have stopped years ago" and "This season was worst and the storylines were horrible!".
It's fine to have an opinion of the show, and even though it did start off with 16 million viewers and went up to over 21 million viewers the following seasons and at one time (the bomb episode) went up to 36 million. But if you're part of the 8-11 million people (such as myself) who are still watching this show WITHOUT criticizing it and are NOT going to be backing out because a favorite character OR two may be leaving it AFTER season 8, then well done to you. You're the loyal people.
I will admit that this show can sometimes jump the gun or lack as much as intensity as the episode that was on the previous week, but you watch a show to see how characters develop and how they deal with their problems and who they become. Yes, people back out, but can you blame them? After 5 years (T.R. Knight) or 6 (Katherine Heigl) or even 8 (Patrick Dempsey and possibly Ellen Pompeo) these characters have developed and are quite frankly still developing.
I will tune in for season 8 (like I did for seasons 1-7) and I will tune in for any possible future seasons such as 9 and 10. If you choose not to watch, then fine, it's your choice. But do not comment and go on about how much you think the show is crap or boring. If you think it is, then simply stop watching. And if you already have stopped watching, then stop commenting because your opinion is not necessary if you are NO longer a fan of the show!


Before this show started all the original actors signed a 8 year contract Katherine Heigl and TR Knight included (they wanted out of their contracts early), so the rest of the cast have to decide to renew there individual contracts and if they do they stay as Patrick Dempsey has stated he won't be renewing his contract, so when his contract ends at after season 8, Derek Shepherd will no longer be part of Grey's Anatomy. So we all should be preparing to bid farewell to this amazing show now. Shonda has stated in an earlier interview, that she is heading into season 8 as if it's the series season final. I have my fingers crossed that the other actors want to renew their contracts and we will see a season 9 and maybe a season 10 minus Meredith and Derek. We as fans need Shonda Rhimes to come out and actually announce that Season 8 is indeed Grey's Anatomy's final season ever. Maybe do another spin-off? With the added characters Callie, Arizona, Jackson, Lexie, Mark, Eli, Teddy and April.


i luv greys anatomy despite the major changes they hav made to the show whether it b by extendin the main cast or takin my fav characters to places where i didnt wnna c them go bc greys provides gr8 dialogue mixed with witty banter nd heartwrenchin storylines nd dats wat makes it a top notch show now in response to patrick dempsey aka mc dreamy leavin i for one neva wanted it to happen but lets b real pple i knew when they first mentioned his nd ellen contract wld b up in two yrs around the end of last season when evrybdy was wiggin out bout him possibly bein killed off the show in the shooting dat dis wld eventually happen im bummed but the show i believe can thrive without one or two of its main characters if ellen were to go too nd i think with the fans it wld take a while to readjust to a merder free enviroment but i think greyz will always bounce bac as lng as shonda rhimes is their


This is actually expected in my opinion. Theres gonna be eight seasons and I honestly think it should have stopped after season 5. Season 6 and 7 were just pointless. I love this show and have been watching since season one but I think that they should stop it sooner rather then later because it is really just going downhill. I also do not think that the show should continue without Meredith Grey(Ellen Pompeo) it would be pointless. Like I know this season has pretty much been Calzonas Anatomy but technically it is still about Meredith and I think it would be ridiculous if they didnt stop when she does. The show will be stupid and I cannot commit to watching it after Mer/Der leave, especially since it will be season 9 by then and I think that they are running out of storylines and pretty soon it is just going to be too repetitive. Like how many times can we see a couple break up and get back together or a character almost die? It's repetitive and old and no one wants to watch the same things over and over again.

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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.