A Lighter Shade of Grey's Anatomy

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"Good morning, my friends. How lucky we are to be here," Patrick Dempsey says.

Grey skies have cleared up on the set of ABC's hit drama.

The doc known as McDreamy practically sings this greeting to Grey's Anatomy crew members as he merrily arrives at ABC's Prospect Studios in a black leather jacket, the morning after the Emmys, to shoot the new season's sixth episode.

Sure, there's a little sarcasm.

Many in the room partied past midnight to celebrate the show's best drama nomination and co-star Katherine Heigl's win as best supporting actress.

This morning scene is a simple one, requiring Dempsey to pass by Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) in the corridor without saying much. So instead, he playfully sticks out his tongue during a rehearsal.

"It's hard being pretty and talking," Patrick Dempsey cracks over breakfast. "I had to starve myself for three days before the Emmys to fit into my tuxedo."

Dempsey jokes that series creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes, who is now devoting half of her time to the spin-off, Private Practice, is no longer around �" "over on that other show... Boston Public."

And he teases that he has had sex with the whole crew.

"It's all about the love in Season 4," the actor chirps. "Sex with everybody. I had the entire writing staff in Season 3." This inspires crew members to pipe in with their own mock confessions of liaisons with Patrick Dempsey.

Patrick and Ellen on the Set

During a break, the handsome star acknowledges that the levity is intentional.

"I think it's really important to keep a light energy, more now than ever," he says. "It's my responsibility to come in here, have my work done, do it quickly, and get in and get out of here and make this a pleasurable experience. I decided after all that happened last year to just have fun."

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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

Meredith: You're me.
Amelia: What?
Meredith: You're me before Derek. I can be here for you. I can do this. I get you. I can be a twisted sister for you. Just tell me how do you want to play this?

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)