Grey's Anatomy: NOT Ending After Season Eight

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Will the upcoming eighth season be Grey's Anatomy's swan song?

Not by a mile, Shonda Rhimes says, and we imagine ABC concurs.

Speculation of Ellen Pompeo and/or Patrick Dempsey's departure has run rampant this summer, but that's only because the original cast members' contracts are up.

After next spring, the original cast will be free agents, so to speak.

All of them could leave, all could sign new deals or some could fall into each camp. But creator Rhimes says Grey's Anatomy as a whole will go on beyond May 2012:

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

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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."

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