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People: 'Grey's Anatomy' Teases Appearances of More past Stars after Patrick Dempsey's Return

Joe Akins
Nov 21, 2020
04:30 P.M.

Grey's Anatomy executive producers teased that there might be more surprising role reprisals to come, following the shocking return of Patrick Dempsey's character Derek Shepherd in the season 17 premiere.

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The season 17 premiere of "Grey's Anatomy" shocked viewers beyond expectations with the return of actor, Patrick Dempsey's character, Derek Shepherd. The show's executive producers, Andy Reaser and Meg Marinis teased more shocking returns in a PEOPLE exclusive where they said:

"Wonderful and completely surprising things are absolutely possible."

Patrick Dempsey visits the SiriusXM Studios on September 12, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Dempsey visits the SiriusXM Studios on September 12, 2016. | Photo: Getty Images

The playful tease from the show's executive producers came right when fans were still reeling from the shock of Shepherd's appearance.

Showrunner Krista Vernoff reassured fans that they would get to see more of the character, who is fondly referred to as McDreamy. The showrunner also promised many more jaw-dropping plot twists.

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Dempsey himself admitted that he was surprised and thrilled at the worldwide outburst of delight from viewers at his return to the series. Viewers did not see the resurgence coming, and that was perfect.

Karev's story ended with him reuniting with his former lover and fellow intern, Katherine Heigl's character, Izzie Stevens. This came ten years after Heighl herself left the series to focus on her family.

Being the longest-running medical drama series in all of television history, viewers are well aware that the show's producers have a long list of former characters to choose from for a role reprisal.

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The long list of such characters goes as far back as the four other interns with whom Ellen Pompeo's character, Meredith Grey, started her career in the first season in 2005.

The ABC hit drama, which is known for killing off its characters in the most unexpected ways, is also known for having its actors willingly exit the show. The many actors and actresses have moved on and continued their careers.

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The first of the five original interns to exit the show was actor T.R. Knight, whose character, George O'Malley, died in the last episode of season 5. O'Malley heroically lost his life when he saved a woman from being crushed by a bus.

More recently, actor Justin Chambers, who played Alex Karev, left the show earlier this year. According to him, he left "Grey's Anatomy" to diversify his career after being on the show since the very beginning for 16 years.

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Karev's story ended with him reuniting with his former lover and fellow intern, Katherine Heigl's character, Izzie Stevens. This came ten years after Heighl herself left the series to focus on her family.

Four years after her departure, Grey's closest friend, Cristina Yang, played by Sandra Oh, was taken off the series. Other dead characters who stand a chance to return include Dr. Mark Sloan and Dr. Lexie Grey, played by Eric Dane and Chyler Leigh respectively.

Both Dane and Leigh's characters died as a result of the traffic plane crash in the eighth season. While fans wonder what else the showrunners have in store for them, they continue to wait with bated breath for the episodes to come.

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