It’s that time again, Grey’s Anatomy fans. Two years ago, fans were stressed as original cast members Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) and Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang), Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber), and Justin Chambers (Alex Karev) were down to the wire with contract negotiations, and that nail-biting moment is almost here again.

The “Originals” (as boss Shonda Rhimes refers to them) are only under contract through the milestone tenth season, which airs this fall, but that doesn’t mean they’re all done for good. However, Shonda is prepared this time around to write their final arcs and give them a proper send-off.

“If one of the Originals is going to be leaving I want to give them the beautiful exit they deserve,” Shonda told TVLine. “I don’t want to be kept guessing about what’s going to happen.”

She also noted that, unlike the 2011 contract drama, she knows “how to approach it and how to tell a story,” and she is making sure she can plan early. “I spoke to [ABC Studios] and asked really clearly that I know sooner rather than later,” she shared with the site. “Last time they kept me guessing up until almost the last minute, which was really stressful. This time I asked to know much sooner, so that we could plan for it.”

Fingers crossed that the OG cast will stick around, but if not, at least we know they’ll have a beautiful exit and will likely have potential to return for guest stints if the show continues after their departures.

Will you watch if the original cast members leave? Sound off below!

Source: TVLine