Grey's Anatomy Building Devoted Fan Base

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There are TV fans, says staff writer Maria Elena Fernandez in Friday's L.A. Times, and then there are Grey's Anatomy fans.

Dr. Derek (McDreamy) Shepherd

"Patrick Dempsey, when he nearly kisses Meredith, it's like nearly kissing me." said Jacki Moore, 37, a mother of two in Burbank, Calif. "I've gone to a few of the fan sites and I look for pictures, and I Google his name to see if anything comes up. I'm ready to put a poster up on my wall."

Karyn McQueen, a 23-year old business student, feels the same way about Patrick Dempsey's handsome character, Derek Shepherd.

"I just feel like I can relate a lot to Meredith and I'm rooting for the underdog, but, oh, I'm a McDreamy fan," she said. "I want him and Meredith to be together. You see the way he looks at her. He really does love her."

Grey's Anatomy has progressed from hit show to pop-culture sensation. It's beating the CSI juggernaut in the coveted 18-49 demographic for the entire season, and twice has garnered a larger audience than its Wisteria Lane lead-in (Desperate Housewives) when both shows aired original episodes.

The fictional surgical world of Seattle Grace Hospital has quickly spread in popularity across America. A cross between the drama of ER and the camaraderie of Friends, with a little female empowerment (a la Sex and the City), makes for a final product that fans can't get enough of.

"What I find interesting is that there are some people out there who take the show very seriously," said Shonda Rhimes, the show's creator. "But then I think about how strongly I felt about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and how emotional I was about what happened to those characters."

With an average of 20 million viewers, Grey's Anatomy is the fifth-ranked show in all of prime-time television, according to Nielsen Media Research. Its audience is 67 percent female, 11 percent black and 6 percent Hispanic, and the show is the fourth-most "upscale" (defined as drawing viewers who earn $100,000 or more) on all of TV.

Even when ABC pre-empts the show for other programming, such as the Academy Awards, fans get their fix on fan sites (such as this one), or by watching past episodes again, courtesy of TiVo and/or DVRs. [WARNING: Shameless Plug Alert!] So, as long as you're on one of said fan sites now, be sure to check out the latest Grey's Anatomy quotes, plus peruse our recently-added galleries of the show's characters and the talented actors who play them!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.