Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey

We asked, and TV Guide Magazine readers responded in force! Grey's Anatomy stars Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey were kind enough to answer a few burning fan questions about the new season of the ABC drama.

Would you like to see your characters have a more traditional legal marriage, or does the way MerDer took their Post-It vows work for you? lavender_indigo, via e-mail

While Pompeo's fine with it, Dempsey acknowledges, "A lot of people were very unsatisfied by that. I think Derek should have had a little more of a ritual to give him closure. But then again he's already had a wedding (to Addison) and knows what the commitment is."

Is there any chance you'll stay on the show after your contracts expire after Season 8?4evermerder, via e-mail

 "If we were to stay longer, I would vote for a very strong thirteen episodes and get out, because I think you cannot compete with the time the writers have on cable shows," says Dempsey. "That would be the one thing that would keep me interested in coming back." For her part, Pompeo says, "I can't ever say anything definite. Who knows what will happen a year from now? I want to leave while the show is still good. If I feel like there are real good stories to tell and the audience is still interested, sure."

Do you think the show can last without MerDer, or should it end?WalaBridgetSami, via e-mail

"I'm sure it could last, absolutely," says Dempsey. "I agree with Patrick," echoes Pompeo. "The writers are lucky they have amazing actors on this show who can facilitate anything they write, but it's hard to keep going. And do you want to keep it going? We started out so strong that inevitably I'm always going to compare what we do to what we did. Any deterioration is going to be painful."  

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