Definitely staying on the show — and Probably In Seattle
Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh): Showrunner Shonda Rhimes has confirmed all three of these key players live, and while it's possible they will follow through on their plans to go elsewhere, we kind of doubt their departures will last for long, if they happen at all. We can't imagine Grey's without MerDer at the heart of the action, and Shonda has hinted that Cristina and Owen may reconcile, which we don't see happening if they are in different cities.
Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez): Shonda says we will "spend a lot of time on Callie" this season, and there's no reason to think she'd leave Seattle.
Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd): Owen is one of the few characters who is obviously safe: He is keeping his job at Seattle Grace-Mercy West and he wasn't in the plane crash. Shonda has chatted about his future, and there's no reason to think he would leave his post as Chief.
Miranda Bailey (Chanda Wilson): Like Owen, Bailey is safe and sound at Seattle Grace-Mercy West, and Shonda confirms there is happiness in the cards for her and her fiancé Ben.
Alex Karev (Justin Chambers): Although it's possible Alex will really leave Seattle, at least for a little while, it sounds like he's definitely staying on the show, since Shonda has hinted there is some romance in the works for him.
Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.): Richard is safe from the crash, and Shonda has discussed wanting to continue the Richard/Adele story.
April Kepner (Sarah Drew): Sarah told us that she is officially coming back next season, and Shonda Rhimes has confirmed that she returns to Seattle.
Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams): Shonda has also said she is going to continue to explore April/Jackson. That means Jackson is definitely still on the show, and since April is back in Seattle, we're guessing Jackson stays, too.
Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh): We all know why. *sigh*
Teddy Altman (Kim Raver): Shonda Rhimes confirmed that Teddy is indeed leaving Seattle Grace-Mercy West for good.
Mark Sloan (Eric Dane): As most Grey's fans know by now, Eric Dane is leaving the show, though the details of his departure remain vague.
Up in the Air
Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw): Arizona's fate remains the most tentative, with Shonda Rhimes keeping worryingly tight-lipped about whether or not she lives.
Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 will premiere on Thursday, September 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
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