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Ellen Pompeo Open to Grey's Anatomy Return

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Contrary to previous statements she's made - including that she believed she would "finish the show when my contract is up" - Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo says she may stay on after this season.

If the network and producers will have her, of course.

"I was invited for eight years - that was my contract - and no one has asked me for a day more," she says. "I know [creator] Shonda Rhimes has said the show will continue, but I wouldn't presume that they want to continue with me. You don't get dressed for the party if you don't have an invitation."

Rule Breaker

Assuming ABC does ask her back, though, would Ellen be up for it?

"I would love the opportunity to discuss it," she tells TV Guide. "I would never turn up my nose at Grey's Anatomy."

"As long as the stories are honest and truthful, and Patrick [Dempsey] and I feel that there is still material for us to be passionate about, it still beats a 9-to-5 job any day."

"If the fans want us to keep going, then I would continue because we owe them everything."

She's not speaking for Patrick Dempsey, who has also indicated that he will exit next spring, along with Sandra Oh. Surprisingly, Ellen says it wouldn't necessarily deter her from continuing Meredith's story, however.

"I have been blessed to work beside Sandra Oh for the past eight years; she's an incredible talent," says Ellen, who feels the same way about "all the original cast members who aren't there anymore - T.R. [Knight], Isaiah [Washington], Katie [Heigl]. I didn't think the show could go on without any of them, yet we found a way to do it."

"It might be an interesting story for Meredith to have to deal with losing Cristina."

Shonda Rhimes says she has indeed "thought of some scenarios" should Patrick choose to leave while Ellen remains, but is unsure how to end the upcoming eighth season.

"I would be lying if I didn't say that I lie awake at night wondering what would happen," she says. "I have some ideas. Do I love them? I don't know yet. I'd prefer to think of them as Armageddon scenarios. There are no easy answers."

Would you watch Grey's Anatomy without Meredith and/or Derek and/or Cristina?

Tell us what you predict will happen and how you think it would shape the show.

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

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Some shows can survive main actor changes such as Law and Order. Others cannot. I don't think Gray's Anatomy will be able to survive if Meredith, Derek, Christina or Alex left. Also, it would be the same without Bailey or the Chief. While the other actors have become important, there was a time when there was a Gray's Anatomy without them. Also, it depends on whether they can substitute some of the actors with actors with more charisma. The show has certainly survived without Izzy and George and Dr. Burke.

Gaby-ee

The show would not be the same without Meredith, Derek, and Cristina. It will be too different without them, and not in a good way.

Raxxx

Speaking for myself... Grey' Anatomy is actually about the 5 INTERNS (the actual M.A.G.I.C ... which is reduced to only M.A.C now :/) so until even one of them is on board.. i m going to watch! That said, Ellen Pompeo is the star of the show.. I believe the show will lose its direction without her.. Lexie is a great character and Chyler does an awesome job playing it... but it would take a lot more than just a similar surname to run this show.. although not ruling out the possibility as i m a Lexie fan...( but with Mcsteamy please :P ) and if they make Callie the main thing again.. i swear i m gonna go bailey on these grey writers! We get that sad grown up attending Drama in Private Practice, Grey's is about the Life of residents! Even the guy , George, for whom callie was introduced at the first place is gone! and I know i'm Rambling... so excuse me :P

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I never liked Meredith. But without her and derec this show won't be the same. And what the F is shonda thinking? So lets kick out merder, christina, callie, mark, alex who else? Meredith is the starring. Who is kicking stars out of a show??

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I've been a fan since the first episode. It wouldn't be the same without Mer/Der. I think I would give up watching it without them on the show.

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NO WAY. There's absolutely no way I'm watching grey's without merder. The show strews with them, and if it doesn't finish with them leaving, then it would certainly be over for me. I love Mark and lexie, but I'll watch if thy get bak together. I'm just not watching grey's and going it more rating when there's no patrick or Ellen. Again, Bo way

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I confess it would be hard to losing Christina/Sandra, but my heart would not be able to continue without Mer/Der. Granted there is better stories than season 7. I truly hated last season, I have been a true GA fan since it began, but I have no reason to continue with it if Mer/Der exit.

Dr-meredith-shepherd

I DON'T THINK THAT IT WILL BE THE SAME GREY'S ANATOMY WITHOUT PATRICK DEMPSEY (DEREK SHEPHERD) AND ELLEN POMPEO (MEREDITH GREY). THEY ARE THE MAIN MAIN CHARACTERS IN THE SHOW.

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I wouldn't mind a parting of the ways for Mer/Der. They have gotten a little stale in the last couple of seasons for me anyway..I would like to see mer/mark mer/jackson or even mer/alex or mer and someone new. mer could get closer to lexie in place of cristina.. maybe teddy or callie also..i don't know really. i think the show would miss cristina more than derek.. i would like to give grey's a chance for season nine and maybe beyond .. but the writers will have to step up to the plate...The alex ratting out meredith really was not well thought out.. i hated it.

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I already said so and I'll say it again: I absolutely will no longer watch Grey's if there is no MerDer. It just woun't ever be the same for me.
Grey's Anatomy WAS amazing, now it's good and I think if it will go on any longer (especially without THE Grey's characters) it will be just... bad. And I actually think it should end as the great show it was and still is.

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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