Five years after checking out of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey is eyeing a TV comeback in another hourlong drama — this time at CBS.
TVLine has learned that Dempsey has been tapped to star in Ways & Means (fka The Whip), a politically-themed drama from Without a Trace EP Ed Redlich that has just scored a CBS pilot order. The potential series finds the erstwhile McDreamy playing a powerful Congressional leader who, after having lost faith in politics, finds himself working secretly with an idealistic young Congresswoman from the opposing party to subvert the hopelessly gridlocked system he helped create. Together, they’ll attempt to save American politics (provided they don’t get caught).
Redlich is co-writing the script with noted GOP political consultant Mike Murphy, and the duo will serve as EPs alongside Denise Di Novi, Tom Lassally and former CBS president Nina Tassler. Joannie Burstein is a Co-EP.
Should Ways & Means get picked up to series, it would serve as Dempsey’s first full-time series gig since exiting Grey’s in March 2015 after 11 years; his fan-favorite character was killed in a car crash.
”It had been long enough,” he later said of his Grey’s exit. “It was time for me to move on with other things and other interests. I probably should have moved on a couple of years earlier. I stayed a bit longer than I should have.”
Dempsey briefly returned to the small screen in 2018 in the Epix 10-part limited series The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.
TVLine’s comprehensive 2020-21 Pilot Guide has been updated to include Dempsey’s Ways & Means.