It appears Meredith Grey will be taking part in Grey's Anatomy's upcoming "Season of Love" after all.
Despite comments by ABC President Channing Dungey Tuesday about the long-running ABC drama's titular doctor staying single in season 15, Grey's showrunner Krista Vernoff said Meredith will indeed be going back to dating four years after the death of Patrick Dempsey's Derek Shepherd.
"Channing (Dungey) was keeping it mellow and trying to avoid spoilers because Shondaland is secrecy land," Vernoff told TVLine. "But as the showrunner, I can confirm for you that Meredith Grey is very much a part of our Season of Love."
"Yes, [Mer]'s a single mom, and that complicates a dating life. And yes, she's a surgical marvel with new, game changing medical ideas she'll be pursuing," she added. "But she also hasn't dated at all since [Martin Henderson's] Nathan Riggs left [in Season 14]. And the one-two punch of meeting [Scott Speedman's] Nick Marsh awoke a desire in her that she can't put back to sleep."
Vernoff states that the question this season is now "Will Meredith find love again," but more along the lines of "whom will she find love" with.
When asked about Speedman's fan-favorite one-episode character, Vernoff shared the real reason the show didn't pursue the romance between Nick and Meredith further.
"We all loved him, but Nick was designed as a one episode guest star," she noted, "which is the whole reason Scott agreed to come play him!"
During the Television Critics Association summer press tour Tuesday, Dungey told press that while se didn't deny Meredith finding love, she'd be focusing on other things as well.
"I'm not saying no," she insisted. "I think we'll get there [eventually]. I'm just saying that she's on a trajectory that is very much about her evolution as a doctor and a parent. There's been a lot of dating, and I think [Ellen's] excited — we're all excited — to explore some different aspects of the character."
One co-star who will cheer at the new scoop from Vernoff will be Camilla Luddington, who plays Jo Wilson on Grey's, and earlier shared her wishes for Meredith to find love again, though she will be sad it won't be Nick Marsh.
Last week, Grey's announced it had cast Nashville alum Chris Carmack as an "Ortho God" coming to work at the hospital, though no other details were given about the new character. Will he be the one to woo Meredith Grey out of celibacy? We'll have to tune in to find out.
Grey's Anatomy will return for its 15th season with a two-hour season premiere Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.