Grey's Anatomy Set to "Reinvent" Itself After McDreamy's Death—But Is This the Final Season?

ABC president Paul Lee addressed the "difficult decision" to let Patrick Dempsey go at the 2015 Summer TCA Press Tour

By Tierney Bricker Aug 04, 2015 6:21 PMTags
Grey's Anatomy, Patrick DempseyABC/Kelsey McNeal

The show must go on. Even without McDreamy.

Months later, Grey's Anatomy fans are still recovering from the shocking death of Derek (Patrick Dempsey)—including us. Still, the time has come for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), the hospital and viewers to move on. 

Heading into its 12th season, ABC boss Paul Lee said Grey's Anatomy might look and feel different when it returns on Sept. 24. 

"We've seen the pitch for Grey's Anatomy for next season. The show reinvents itself again," Lee told reporters at the 2015 Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday. The first signs of reinvention? Off the Map's Martin Henderson was cast as the hot new doc, and Pompeo said she was "excited" for Meredith's post-Derek's death "journey."

Calling it "a difficult decision" to kill off Derek, Lee said, "It was great to see Grey's Anatomy so relevant and taking the national conversation" in its 11th season.

Lee also hinted that it was Dempsey's choice to leave Grey's Anatomy, saying the star had "lots of interests" other than the show, including his race car driving career.

Even without its blue-eyed leading man, Lee seemed confident that Shonda Rhimes' mother-show will not end anytime soon. 

"We have no reason to suspect Grey's Anatomy won't go on for many, many seasons to come," he confidently said. 

For more scoop on Grey's Anatomy's upcoming season, check back with us later for interviews with the cast and details from the TGIT panel at ABC's Summer TCA Press Tour!