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 don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith