The upcoming season of Shonda Rhimes' "Grey's Anatomy" will introduce a new character, who could possibly fill the void left open by the sudden departure of Patrick Dempsey, who essayed the role of Derek Shepherd for 10 years before his character was killed off.
According to TVLine, the new doctor will be a series regular and Rhimes and Co. are looking for a "name" actor who is in his late 30s or late 40s. Besides being a stellar performer, the actor should also be "good-looking, charismatic and believable as a surgeon," the media outlet reported.
Could this new surgeon be Meredith's new love interest? Back in April, Rhimes spoke about the future of the show and Meredith, saying Grey's was entering uncharted territory and that "the possibilities for what may come are endless."
And while fans too want Meredith to move on with her life and find someone new as the season moves along, they want a substantial time to pass before she gets romantically involved with someone new.
But what many fans have failed to realise is "Grey's Anatomy" took a time jump post Derek's death, meaning Meredith has been single for more than a year now.
"It'll feel too unnatural (despite the amount of time that's passed in Grey's); like they're pairing Meredith off just to give her a love interest. Owen getting with Amelia felt a little forced and too soon after Christina left," opined one fan. Another added that she is not interested to see Meredith with anyone new for a long time to come.
Interestingly, a good number of viewers are yet to come to terms with the fact that Dempsey's character Derek won't be a part of the medical drama in the coming seasons. The character was killed off in a car crash towards the end of season 11, and immediately fans launched a petition online urging Rhimes to bring back the characters.
Although the petition amassed a number of signatures, it does not seem like Derek will make a comeback.
"Grey's Anatomy" will return to ABC this fall.