Showrunner Krista Vernoff confirmed to Variety that "McDreamy" will definitely be seen again on the series. “You will see him again in the back half of the season,” she said on Friday, December 18.
In addition, when asked if any other classic characters may return as well, Vernoff didn't give a firm yes or no. “We all have hopes,” she teased. “But we don’t have anything new to report yet.”
Dempsey, whose character who was killed off in Season 11 after a fatal car crash, appeared in a beach scene in co-star Ellen Pompeo's dreams, while her character was suffering from COVID-19 in the hospital.
An insider exclusively told OK! that the cameo was important to Dempsey, as the actor felt “zero sense of closure” regarding his character's demise, especially considering he’d been with the series for so many seasons.
“It always bugged him that there was no celebration or well wishes after that final scene,” says the insider. “He grabbed his stuff and left without so much as a pat on the back. It stung.”
Dempsey, 54, was also thrilled to reconnect with the crew. “It was such a warm atmosphere,” adds the insider. “Everyone loved catching up.”
The insider says that the time is just right on a personal level for the actor to get more involved with the beloved series, which is the longest-running medical drama in television history, having surpassed ER.
When Dempsey left the show, his marriage to wife Jillian was falling apart — but trading his long on-set hours for time with his family helped them reconcile by the following year.
Now that the actor’s “set things right” at home, says the insider, “he realized he missed the show. And there are plans to bring him back for more episodes. The fans’ pulses are racing — and he’s all for it.”