In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Shonda discussed how and why Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) will exit Grey's Anatomy in Season 9. Amongst other things, the showrunner made sure to explain who, specifically, will fill McSteamy’s shoes as the resident “man whore” on the show, and who may actually wind up finding his soulmate.

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“The loss of McSteamy is going to leave a giant hole in our world in terms of — for lack of a better phrase — man whore-ness,” says Shonda. “I’ve told the actors who play Alex [Justin Chambers] and Jackson Jesse Williams] that we need some leading men here."

Shonda continued, “I think the breed of what Eric Dane did can never be replaced, but I do think there’s some room for some men at the hospital to spread their wings. We haven’t seen that in a while.”

What we definitely haven’t seen for a while is Alex in a successful relationship. But Shonda promises, “I’m looking for Alex to find his person.”

Plus, Jackson and April’s (Sarah Drew) sputtering start of a quasi-relationship will be further explored. “I think it’s going to be funny, sexy, and good,” Shonda says.

Hey, as sad as we are to see Eric leave the show, we’re all about more man-whore-ness. Bring it on!

Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 will premiere on Thursday, September 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Source: EW

Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.

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