May 20, 2011 at 7:08 PM ET
Say it ain't so!
The season seven finale of "Grey's Anatomy" on Thursday saw both Meredith and Derek's and Cristina and Owen's marriages in trouble, and according to show creator Shonda Rhimes, those two cliffhangers (and some other stunners) may be setting up the exits of several original cast members.
When Matt Webb Mitovich of TVLine asked Rhimes about the big MerDer fight and potentially upsetting fans, Rhimes said, "I'm not even sure I thought about it. I was busy thinking about setting us up for next season, which might be the final season for the (original cast members)."
But there's one thing Rhimes is pretty certain about: The fight between Meredith and Derek won't lead to a split. "I feel like Meredith and Derek are meant to be together forever, and we're go ing to make sure that in the end they wind up together," Rhimes told Mitovich.
Together forever or not, TVLine pointed out that the contracts for both Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey expire in a year, and that Pompeo has already said she probably wouldn't renew after the next season. To that, Rhimes said that season eight "might be the last hurrah for a lot of them -- you never know."
Which of the original cast member(s) would you miss most? Can the show survive more than one cast member's exit next season? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.