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'Grey's Anatomy': Are Meredith and Derek Over?

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Mar 06, 2012 | 9:20am EST

grey's anatomyThe cast of Grey's Anatomy love to toy with our emotions off-screen just as much as they do on-screen. For close to a year, rumors have gone back and forth regarding the fate of our favorite on-again-off-again medical couple, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey), as their contracts expire at the end of Season 8. And according to series creator Shonda Rhimes, the end of the McDreamy couple is still entirely possible.

Though both stars have shown interest in returning next season, the series creator recently told TV Guide that the couple's future on the show remains in jeopardy. For her part, Rhimes is all for the actors staying on board for more seasons and said, "I have my fingers crossed. What I think is really lovely is that everybody wants to come back."

But just in case things don't work out, Rhimes has a plan for the finale that will work regardless of who signs on for Season 9. Warning: spoilers ahead! 

"Our goal is to have Derek and Meredith move in to the completed dream house. And our residents will be interviewing for jobs all around the country," Rhimes said. This renders the plot and the characters easy to manipulate, regardless of the final outcome.

But the series just wouldn't be the same without the Mer-Der romance – think of the post-it, people! Completely removing the couple from the series could yield a drastic ratings decline. Plus, without Meredith Grey the show’s name would no longer make sense; that is, unless Lexie and McSteamy become the new focus.

As intriguing as that plot shift would be, it still wouldn't be the same without the romance that started it all. Let's keep our fingers crossed that these Seattle Grace lovebirds remain a part of the Thursday night lineup.

Click on the picture above for more photos of Grey's Anatomy.

Source: TV Guide

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