By now, most Grey's Anatomy loyalists know that six of the original cast members have contracts that end with Season 8. It will be up to them to negotiate a new contract or simply leave the show. But what would they do with themselves post-Grey’s?

In the worst-case scenario, Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey), Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), and James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber) all leave. We take a look at what their careers might be like without their names on the Grey’s marquee.

Ellen Pompeo: This past October, Ellen’s production company, Calamity Jane, successfully pitched a show to ABC, tentatively starring Eric McCormack. As executive producer on a brand new drama — which is said to involve female secret service agents — Ellen will have her hands full. She may also want to spend more time with her 2-year-old daughter Stella.

Patrick Dempsey: Patrick has already said that he would put most of his post-Grey’s focus on his family and racing cars. And considering his track record of working while being on Grey’s, there’s no evidence that Patrick is anxious to rush on to the big screen again. Aside from roles in last year’s critically abysmal Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon and 2008’s Made of Honor, McDreamy has not had much of a movie presence at all. Sounds like all play and no work is on the horizon.

Sandra Oh: Sandra may have had the biggest movie career of all the Grey’s original cast members before signing on with the show. Co-starring in her ex-husband’s award-winning Sideways, and building up a substantial side career in voice-acting (Phineas & Ferb, American Dad), Sandra will most likely continue working without skipping a beat. She may even take on another role as the main character’s love interest, now that she’ll have time to devote to heftier parts. 

Justin Chambers: Justin has five children to spend time with after Grey’s, but that hasn’t stopped him from filming a major movie slated for 2013. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Broken City is sure to be a huge blockbuster. Depending on how well the movie does, and how critics and movie audiences react to him, we could see Justin headed down the same path as other gritty, sexy actors like Tom Hardy or Jeremy Renner. 

Chandra Wilson: Chandra has shown more of an affinity for directing (so far she has directed five episodes of Grey’s Anatomy that we know of) than appearing in the movies. We could see Chandra continuing in television behind the camera, or maybe taking on a producer role as well. 

James Pickens, Jr.: James has a surprising collection of non-Hollywood-related hobbies, including being a “horseman, roper, and philanthropist” according to IMDB. Without much of a movie career, James could follow in Patrick’s footsteps and devote his time to family, residuals, and his personal passions. 

Grey’s Anatomy returns with an all-new episode on Thursday, April 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

SourcesIMDBIMDB

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