Patrick Dempsey On His 'Grey's Anatomy' Future: Will He Stick Around For Season 9?

Is the end of McDreamy upon us? Patrick Dempsey's "Grey’s Anatomy" contract is up at the end of the season and though the actor previously indicated he's ready to leave Seattle Grace, he recently told TV Guide Magazine that he may be up for one more shift.

"I have a family to support, and why not have a discussion about continuing?" he said when asked if he would come back to the show he’s starred on for eight years. "The question is will I do a full season, a half season or come back at all?" Dempsey said he's looking to move on to other things -- like car racing and movie roles – but would continue working on "Grey's" if he can find a way to balance it all. "There are so many other things than just the money. But it's a nice position to be in," he added.

Shortly after Dempsey's initial statement about his departure made headlines over the summer, the actor clarified and said his "it's done" comment was a reference to his contract only.

Dempsey's on-screen wife, Ellen Pompeo, will also have her contract expire at the end of Season 8. "I would never turn up my nose at 'Grey's,'" she said in October of her future on the show. "If I hear from the fans that they want us to keep going, then I would continue because we owe them everything."

But "Grey's Anatomy" also hit a ratings low in October. So are fans giving up on the show before its stars do? Time will tell.

"Grey's Anatomy" returns from its holiday hiatus on Thurs., Jan. 5 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.