Patrick Dempsey Is Up For A Grey’s Anatomy Record That Only One Cast Member Ever Achieved

Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd in Grey's Anatomy.

The Primetime Emmy Awards are just months away, meaning that nominations are coming out very soon. However, some are already speculating who could be nominated for the biggest awards in television, including the Best Drama Guest Actor category. The 2020-21 season was a big one for guest stars, and Grey’s Anatomy is submitting multiple actors for that category, including one Patrick Dempsey.

Patrick Dempsey made his memorable and surprise return to the ABC medical drama at the end of the Season 17 premiere, after Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) fell into a COVID-induced coma. The actor portrayed Dr. Derek Shepherd for the show’s first 11 seasons before his character ultimately died from a car crash. Now Dempsey is on the ballot for the guest actor category, along with T.R. Knight, who also made a surprise return in the latest season. According to Gold Derby, the last time an actor on Grey’s Anatomy was recognized in the category was in 2006.

Before starring as Coach Taylor in the Friday Night Lights cast, Kyle Chandler took on the role of Dylan Young in two episodes of Season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy. Dylan was a bomb squad member who died from a bomb that exploded once it was taken out of a patient’s body, before he had time to dispose of it. The role earned him his first Emmy nomination, but he lost to Christian Clemenson for Boston Legal.

The Grey’s Anatomy alum appeared throughout Season 17 of the medical drama during Meredith's beach fantasy, and while it made fans emotional to see MerDer together once again after so long, it’s not an official nomination as of yet. There are only five spots on the actual ballot this year, so it’s not a for sure thing that Dempsey will even be nominated. Fans will know soon, though, as nominations for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards are set to be announced on July 13.

It will be interesting to see whether or not Patrick Dempsey is nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, considering this would be his first nomination for Grey’s Anatomy and only his second Primetime Emmy nomination. The first, coincidentally, being for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2000 for Once and Again. Since Derek’s long-awaited return made fans everywhere emotional and happy, yearning for more time with him, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Academy decided to nominate him.

Stay tuned on July 13 to find out if Patrick Dempsey, or even T.R. Knight, can take on the Grey’s Anatomy record! The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards air Sunday, September 19 on CBS. In the meantime, you can rewatch Dempsey’s emotional return and reunion with Meredith, as well as several other big returns, on Grey’s Anatomy on Hulu.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.