"Grey's Anatomy" without Patrick Dempsey is going to be very different from what fans are used to, and according to actress Ellen Pompeo, this change was required for the growth of the show.

Pompeo, in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, also noted that the upcoming season will be a big shift, considering season 12 is the first full season without Patrick Dempsey's Derek.

"It feels a lot different. Every time we lose someone big — when we lost Sandra Oh — when we lose anybody — it's a big shift. But a show that runs this long, you welcome those big changes," Pompeo told The Hollywood Reporter about season 12.

"It makes everything feel so much different and that's what we're looking for in season 12. We're looking for things to not stay the same. They have to stay the same to some extent but you welcome change because that's what inspires the writers, that's what inspires the actors. Change is necessary for growth," she added.

As viewers of the ABC medical drama know, season 11 saw Derek dying in an accident, following which the show took a leap of about a year. Season 12 will feature another leap that will see the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital moving on or trying to get past the tragedy that came their way.

The time-jump will see Meredith in her mother's home, which she is sharing with sister-in-law Amelia and half-sister Maggie, and certain incidents that arise from this new living arrangement are sure to evoke a lot of laughs from fans.

"Right now it's very funny. Those three women are very different and don't have very much in common, which is fantastic," showrunner Shonda Rhimes told the media outlet. "Meredith needs support right now and she is related to them so it's not the same as when she was living with Izzie (Katherine Heigl) and George (T.R. Knight) and liked them. She doesn't necessarily need to like them to love them and be in a house with them. It's a fascinating dynamic — it's family."

"Grey's Anatomy" will return to ABC on 24 September.