Rumours of actor Patrick Dempsey quitting "Grey's Anatomy" has once again gained momentum after executive producer Shonda Rhimes revealed in a recent interview that the character portrayed by the actor is leaving Seattle for Washington D.C.
Dempsey plays the role of Derek Shepherd on the medical drama, and Season 11's midseason finale saw Derek accepting the President's offer to head the brain mapping project. And when the show returns on Thursday, Derek will finally leave his wife back in Seattle for better prospects in Washington D.C.
"We end them in a fairly dark place," Rhimes told Entertainment Weekly. "He's walking away and she's sort of pushed him out the door. It's like, you call someone's bluff and push them out the door. He's having a hard time, she's having a hard time with this."
The showrunner added that the character will not be seen for a while as the show will not be focusing on his Washington D.C. journey. "It's highly possible that we might not see Derek for a while," Rhimes said, and added that he was not gone for good. "There will be a time when you see him again, yes, but it's probable that you won't see Derek for a while."
Interestingly, fans have been expecting this news for a few months now; ever since Dempsey, who is under contract for Season 12, hinted that he might be leaving the show. In an interview with Portland Press Herald in November, the actor said he wanted to explore other avenues.
"Acting [in Grey's Anatomy] has been a blessing for me and has allowed me to do all this," he told the media outlet. "But it's transitional for me right now...I'm looking forward to the next thing, creatively," Dempsey said.
"I do want to act (after 'Grey's Anatomy'), but I might take a break and go race and travel first. I haven't found a piece of material I want to do yet. I'm dyslexic, and I don't have the attention span to read about a lot of these things, but I can download a documentary or a book on tape, and I love that," he added.