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

Arizona: Oh my God! I mean, I understand why you're into her. She's hot. Wait, she likes you?
Nathan: What? I mean, I'm going to try not to be offended at that.
Arizona: No, no, no. It's just that Derek was--Derek was epic for her. They were the great love story. I mean, that girl's heart beat for Derek Shepherd. It just...it never occurred to me that she would ever be with anyone else. He was perfect. He was everything. That man turned her world. It...I spooked you. Don't be spooked.

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."