Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Meredith, Cristina, Jackson, Alex, and April on Grey's Anatomy September 29, 2011

After a long summer of contract chatter and cryptic interviews, the premiere of Grey’s Anatomy Season 8 is finally upon us. But with no confirmation of more seasons from show creator Shonda Rhimes or anyone in the cast, is it possible that Season 8 will be a swansong for Grey’s?

It certainly doesn’t bode well for Grey’s that Shonda has been busy creating a spate of new shows for ABC — her show Scandal premieres this fall, and she recently sold pitches of a show called Gilded Lillys and an as-yet-untitled legal drama. With Private Practice still on the air, that makes five shows Shonda’s got on her plate — and even if she scales back on her involvement with some of these others, it’s more than any one person can be expected to juggle. Something’s gotta give, and after eight seasons, it seems likely that thing would be Grey’s.

Meanwhile, the cast hasn’t given any definitive information about returning for further seasons, despite Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd)’s false confirmation of his departure, which he eventually retracted. Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) has been equally evasive regarding her contract — although rumors have been flying that Chyler Leigh (Lexie Grey) would be tapped to replace her as the voice (and lead) of the show.

So will Grey’s live to see another season? Official word on the subject will only come from one source: Shonda. For now, she remains tight-lipped — but we suspect much hinges on the success or failure of her other ventures. Sound off below and tell us: Should Grey’s end on Season 8?