Patrick Dempsey to Check Out of Grey's Anatomy?

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Get ready to say your McByes, Grey's Anatomy fans.

Patrick Dempsey, who has been with the ABC series since its premiere and who has seen his career resurrected as the result of playing Dr. Derek Sheperd, has made it official: the 2011-2012 season will be his last.

"I do not know what’s going to happen to the other characters, but for me it’s done," the actor says in Italian Vanity Fair, saying the decision is “bittersweet because it’s been great and a great part of my life. But I can’t see me doing it anymore.”

Patrick Dempsey on Grey's Anatomy

Dempsey's rep tells E! News his client "was referring to the fact that his contract is up at the end of next season and we have no idea what the future holds," but rumors have ran rampant that both Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo will make season eight their last.

That actress' deal is also up next spring.

Can Grey's Anatomy go on without its two leads? Most likely. Creator Shonda Rhimes has made it clear she's open to continuing without Meredith and Derek and, hey, there's even another Grey on board in the former of Chyler Leigh's Lexie.

But would you watch the show without MerDer? That's the question, viewers. Answer it now:

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