Patrick Dempsey still hasn't decided whether he'll stay with "Grey's Anatomy" past Season 10 or leave like co-star Sandra Oh, who will wrap her decade-long run on the ABC drama in the upcoming season.
On a visit to "The Late Show," David Letterman asked the star how much longer he'll remain on the hit medical series. "I think it depends on renegotiations, quite honestly," Dempsey admitted in the video above. "I could stay, I may go, who knows?"
It's not the first time Dempsey has considered leaving "Grey's" -- the actor was weighing his options back in Season 8 after his previous contract expired. "I have a family to support, and why not have a discussion about continuing?" he told TV Guide. "The question is will I do a full season, a half season or come back at all?"
As an avid racecar driver, Dempsey seemed eager to shift his focus to that career path, but later clarified, "The biggest point for me in negotiations is getting time off to come race, so if I don't miss races, I'll probably stay on 'Grey's Anatomy.'"
At the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour, where he was promoting his new Velocity miniseries "Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans," the actor reiterated his passion for racing, and expressed that "Grey's" had grown less fulfilling than the sport in recent years. "I'm not necessarily bored with the show, I'm very grateful," Dempsey told reporters. "I'm not the creator, I'm not the writer ... When you've been on a show for 200 episodes, it's about surviving, and you find ways to turn yourself on with what you're given. It's like being a band -- you're given one specific note that you play ... I'm grateful I have the gig, but it's not the same as being in a race car."
Later, during an interview with HuffPost TV's Maggie Furlong, Dempsey insisted he was "still having fun" on the show: "I think this year coming back into Season 10, there is a feeling of great celebration within the cast and with the writers. It's a grind -- we're doing 15-16 hour days and people are exhausted. It's not an easy job. It is what it is. I'm not complaining, it's just challenging. It's been 10 years -- you know, 200 episodes."
The contracts for Dempsey and original cast-members Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers and Chandra Wilson are all set to expire after Season 10, leading some to wonder whether the show will reach a logical conclusion after a decade on the air. But ABC president Paul Lee thinks there's still life in "Grey's" yet, telling critics, "We would like to see it on our network for many years."
"Grey's Anatomy" two-hour Season 10 premiere airs Thursday, September 26 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC and "Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans" premieres Wed., August 28 at 10 p.m. ET on Velocity by Discovery.
Would you watch "Grey's" without Dempsey, or do you think it should end after Season 10?
Going, Going, Gone
Kevin McKidd as Dr. Owen Hunt.
Going, Going, Gone
Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey.