ABC President Paul Lee took to the stage on Tuesday at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour and touched on both Grey's Anatomy Season 11 and Grey's Anatomy Season 12.
First, the executive acknowledged the McElephant in the McRoom, referring to Derek's death as a "difficult decision" made by creator Shonda Rhimes.
But It was “great to see Grey’s Anatomy so relevant” again, Lee added, putting the blame for Patrick Dempsey’s departure a bit on the actor in referencing his “interests outside” of the show.
It's certainly no secret that Dempsey had been unsatisfied with his role for awhile and that he has a passion for racecar driving.
Looking ahead to Grey's Anatomy Season 12, meanwhile, Lee sounded excited:
"We’ve seen the pitch for next season and the show reinvents itself again. [Shonda Rhimes] really is a remarkable showrunner.
"We have no reason to expect that Grey’s Anatomy will not go on for many, many years to come."
Ratings for the long-running series dropped significantly after Derek’s death, but the drama will return on September 24, once again kicking off ABC's powerful Thursday night lineup.