Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo signing two-year contract extensions hint that Grey’s Anatomy will continue into its 11th season and beyond, although their contract renewals are not a guarantee. ABC hasn’t officially announced the show’s spot in the new lineup.
Dempsey’s character, Derek Shepherd, has been a big draw for the show. Also known as “McDreamy,” he was able to win more than Dr. Meredith Grey’s heart over the years. 48-year-old Dempsey is enjoying the balance he has between his acting and racing careers. Though his goal is to eventually be a full-time racer, he’s agreed to stick with being a neurosurgeon on Grey’s Anatomy a little longer.
Pompeo earned a Golden Globe award in 2007 for her work on the medical drama. Including her character, Meredith Grey, is important for the show to move on. Grey is married to the other leading character who’s played by Dempsey, but more importantly, this season she will be at a loss without her “person” as she has often refers to her best friend.
Everyone needs that one person they can go to when they need someone. One of Yang’s lines read: “She’s my person. If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.”
The announcement that Sandra Oh was leaving the show created concern among fans. Oh feels that it’s time to move on and to explore other options in her career. She also felt that her character had reached an end point. She was complicated, difficult to read, vulnerable, and even likeable. The character she played since 2005, Christina Yang, was an integral part of the show and losing her certainly changes the dynamics.
Dempsey and Pompeo, along with a handful of other cast members, recently confirmed their return to Grey’s Anatomy by signing two-year contracts. The married duo are expected to continue their struggle between family and the hospital over the next two seasons.
Also returning to the show are Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber) and Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey). Joining the cast this year is Paul James, best known for his stint on ABC Family’s Greek, a college drama that aired in 2007. In 2014, he’ll move up to Seattle Grace Hospital with the returning cast members.
Grey’s Anatomy has been popular among over the past 10 seasons, especially with the highly covered 18-49 year old demographics. The show’s ratings remain high, falling only behind the newer shows, Scandal and Castle.
Whatever direction the show decides to take in the upcoming seasons, one thing is certain. Grey’s Anatomy wouldn’t be the same without the chemistry-filled relationship between Dempsey and Pompeo. Producers needed them to sign two-year contracts to keep interest in the show high. They hope to continue the show indefinitely. Now writers are able to include both of their characters in future storylines to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Be prepared for more emotional moments and cliff-hanging endings, as the show is known for creating.
By Tracy Rose