Since the contracts of many of its original cast members are set to expire in May, Grey’s Anatomy could well play out its most suspenseful story off screen this season — potentially its last.
Whether the actors stay or leave, and whether creator Shondra Rhimes or ABC call it a day, Justin Chambers who has played Alex Karev from the start, is keenly aware that there is no turning back.
“It makes me sad to know that we’re closer to the end [than the beginning],] it’s been a great ride. It really has. There was no better job that I could’ve fallen into.”
Like Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo, Chambers is undecided about whether he’ll re-sign for another season, even if there does turn out to be a series with which to re-sign. “I don’t know if I’ll go farther,” he insists. “I don’t know if the show will go farther. When we get to that point, we’ll go from there…
“We know it’s going to end sooner or later,” he continues. “It’s just about ending well and the audience getting what they want out of it, and maybe there are some amends made with the characters, because they’re very flawed.”
If he and his fellow MDs don’t climb on board for another year, Chambers is skeptical about the chances of Grey’s‘ survival. “It’s possible [it could go on], but I doubt it,” he says. “Meredith is the voice. We need that voice — I do think that. That’s a big part of it.”
For her part, series creator Shonda Rhimes remains confident the show will return for a ninth season. “I don’t presume to speak for the studio or the network,” she says, “but I don’t think this is the last season of the show.”
Neither does ABC president Paul Lee. Although this week he announced that Desperate Housewives would end after its eighth season, he’s far from ready to set an end date to Grey’s. “Hopefully, [it] is going to go on for many, many years to come,” he says, shrugging off any concern about his stars’ contracts expiring. ”We don’t have to face that for some time.”
In the meantime, the show has another milestone to mark. The second hour of its season premiere is its 150th episode. “It seems like the 100th just came up,” Chambers admits. “Maybe we will go to 200. You never know.”