TCA: Shonda Rhimes Opens Up About McDreamy's Death on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Says made decision to stay true to narrative
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Related: Complete Coverage of TCA Summer Press Tour

Beverly Hills, Calif. — Shonda Rhimes addressed Tuesday the much talked about death of Patrick Dempsey’s character Derek on Grey’s Anatomy.

“Meredith [Ellen Pompeo] and Derek’s love had to remain Meredith and Derek’s love,” said Rhimes, who executive produces Grey’s Anatomy, during an ABC TCA summer press tour panel.  

The showrunner said that she had to remain true to the character and the options she had to write him out of the storyline.

She added that they had a lot of discussions about Dempsey’s departure.

“It wasn’t easy,” she said.

Rhimes, whose Emmy-nominated Shondaland banner will have four shows on air this fall — Grey’s, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and The Catch, also fielded questions about her legacy.

“I don’t know that I’m thinking of that as much as I am thinking of the work we’re doing,” she said. “I certainly don’t think anything about legacy.”

Viola Davis, who earned an Emmy nod for her role in How to Get Away With Murder, echoed Rhimes’ sentiments.

“If you are in this business for awards, you are in the wrong business,” said Davis, adding that the accolades are a testament to the quality of the work.

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