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Grey’s Anatomy Exec Reveals Patrick Dempsey Is Sticking Around

Grey's Anatomy Ellen Pompeo and Patrick DempseyGrey's Anatomy Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsy’s surprise return to Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Derek Shepherd last week isn’t a one-shot deal. According to published reports, the late “McDreamy” is sticking around for at least a few episodes.

Grey’s Anatomy Is Not Done With McDreamy

After his character was killed off in 2015, viewers didn’t think they’d ever see the good doctor again. How did the return come about? “I reached out to Ellen [Pompeo, Meredith] in July to talk about what can we do to get people to wear masks?” Dempsey shared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “She said, ‘What do you think about coming back onto the show?'”

Dempsey was on board as evidenced by his surprise return to Grey Sloan Memorial – or at least the beach on which Meredith popped up after passing out in last week’s show. “What a great opportunity for people,” he added, “and how great it [is] for the fans to see them reunited in a bizarre way.”

Initially, Dempsey says, Derek’s return was kept secret because not that many people were told of the idea to bring him back. “Nobody knew about it other than some people at ABC, of course,” he says. “Krista [Vernoff, executive producer], Ellen, and myself.” Dempsey adds that directors Debbie Allen and Kevin McKidd (Owen) were told, too, at some point.

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“Nobody [else] knew till I showed up on set that day,” Dempsey adds. “We’d be concerned it would come out somehow. We managed to keep it a secret. The impact of the response has been overwhelming.”

There’s more good news! Vernoff told the LA Times that viewers are going to continue to see the great love of Meredith’s life.

“We will see more of [Derek] this season,” Vernoff shared. “This was not just a cameo. He will appear three more times.

“I called Ellen, and I was like, ‘What if in the first few episodes, you’re on a beach in a dream sequence?'” Verna went on to say, explaining how it would be possible to show Meredith without a mask. “And she goes, ‘What if we get Patrick Dempsey?’ In all my wildest fantasy imaginings of who we might get, he was not on the list. Because there was some complexity around him leaving the show. I said, ‘Are you serious?’ And she said, ‘We just went on a hike together. He really wants to do something … with masks … and we’re good. I bet he would do it, Krista.'” Don’t miss this week’s Grey’s Anatomy to see what happens next. Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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