The show is called "Grey's Anatomy" for the character of Meredith Grey, so Ellen Pompeo was hurt when some fans said the show should end after the death of Patrick Dempsey's character, Derek Shepherd.

In a new Entertainment Weekly cover story with the stars of Shona Rhimes' entire "Shondaland," Ellen said she was personally offended by the idea that "Grey's" can't go on without McDreamy.

Let's keep it really real for a second and say this is really difficult for my ego. It's okay! We all have one! It's like, Annalise Keating carries [How to Get Away With Murder], Olivia Pope carries [Scandal]. But somehow, Meredith Grey needs someone. Why can't I just be the lead of the show the way Annalise and Olivia can? Why can't I be on that poster by myself?"

Good point, and one you'd probably never have to hear a guy make -- it's not like they ended "Dexter" when any of Dexter's loved ones died. "House" didn't end when House lost someone. They were the focal points of their own shows. Yes, Derek was a huge part of the entire show run, from the start, and Shonda and company put so much focus on Meredith's love story that they have to bear some responsibility for fans wanting that love story to stay the focus.

Shonda addressed the love story angle to EW, saying, in part:

...It was so interesting for me to discover that audiences, especially women, are so conditioned to believe that there's a singular fairy tale that nobody stops to think that that might not be the definition of happiness. Meredith knew that already. We got to the point in the season when Meredith said, 'I can live without you, but I don't want to,' which for any woman is a very powerful statement. It means: You complement me, but you don't complete me."

It's a strong statement, but is it too little too late, when Meredith's story is now at Season 12 and so much time has been spent emphasizing that fairy tale, specifically with a guy dubbed "McDreamy"?

"Grey's Anatomy" Season 12 premieres September 24.

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