There seems to be no denying it at this point:
Grey's Anatomy is coming to an end.
When? We can't say for certain.
But a lot sooner than later, that much seems to be clear by now.
The contract of Ellen Pompeo is up this spring and the actress has openly said she's ready to move on.
Creator Shonda Rhimes, meanwhile, who has handed over showrunning duties on Grey's Anatomy to Krista Vernoff, has said that the show will go on for as long as Pompeo wants to do it.
She elaborated on this stance in an interview with Variety on Sunday, November 7.
“I’ve written the end of that series, I want to say, a good eight times,” Rhimes told the outlet.
“I was like, ‘And that will be the end!’ Or, ‘That’ll be the final thing that’s ever said or done!’ And all of those things have already happened.
"So I give up on that, you know what I mean?”
Rhimes did admit, however, that she may not be the person who decides on the final scene of this drama -- which has been on the air forr 18 seasons and which remains a huge hit for ABC.
That said, Rhimes is still in control of when Grey’s Anatomy actually concludes.
“Am I the person who decides when the show is over? Yes. And I take full responsibility for that when or if everybody gets mad at me,” she told Variety.
This is only partially the case, of course.
Grey's Anatomy has lost nearly all of its original cast members over the years, but there's no way it will continue without Pompeo on board.
“We’re getting there. Shonda and I will make that decision together,” Pompeo told Us Weekly back in May 2018 about ending the show, prior to signing a new two-year deal.
She added at the time:
“I think that one of the biggest lessons that this show has taught me and being on this show for so long has taught me, is that relationships do change. And they do grow. They take work. Like any marriage, friendship. You gotta put in the work."
Continued the veteran actress:
"You have to accept other people’s flaws, and accept your own flaws and try to change and be a better person.
"But I think everything is worth the time and effort.
"And things get better.”
Pompeo may also be anxious to get out of the spotlight.
"I’ve been trying to get away for years,” Pompeo told Entertainment Tonight on the Emmy Awards red carpet in September.
“I have been trying. It’s not because I haven’t been trying. I have strong relationships at the network and they have been very, very good to me, and have incentivized me to stay.”
At this point, no decision on the future of Grey's Anatomy has been made.
Our guess? This season will mark the end of what has been an amazing run.
For now, fans can rest assured that Grey’s Anatomy isn’t going anywhere: Season 18 airs on ABC Thursdays at 9/8c.