In an interview with TVLine, the veteran TV producer is backing off that assertion, making the fate of Meredith and Derek ominously ambiguous.
"I'm not going to say that Meredith and Derek are never going to break up," Shonda says. "I'm not going to say that simply because we're writing a story and we're on this long, long journey. I've learned never to say absolutes about anything anymore. People always say, 'Seven seasons ago you said… ' Well, I didn't think we'd still be here."
Fair point. The success of Grey's Anatomy in its old age — it was the #1 drama amongst TV viewers under 50 last season — has surprised us all.
It's not the first time that Shonda has said that the show has gone on longer than she thought it would. Last year, she revealed that the storyline has included and gone beyond her ideas for final scenes five times now.
Still, Grey's fans shouldn't be too worried about Mer and Der. Shonda previously said that the couple's current argument doesn't feel like a marriage-ender, and she tells TVLine now that she's more interested to write a story in which they fight for their marriage than one in which they give up.
Still, consider yourself put on notice…
Grey's Anatomy Season 11 premieres Thursday, September 25, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.