Did McDreamy Die To Save ABC's Budget?

Photo: Kelsey McNeal/ABC.
Our tears still haven't dried from last Thursday's shocking episode of Grey's Anatomy. Derek Shepherd died. He STOPPED LIVING. Our weekly quota of handsome men with salt-and-pepper strands took a MAJOR hit. Shonda Rhimes, who has given us so many tear-filled moments throughout the course of Grey's Anatomy's run, did it again. We could go on, but you get the histrionic picture. Now, in the wake of McDreamy's shocking death, come the conspiracy theories as to why the show decided to off such a major character. The latest among said suppositions? Money, of course.

Derek Shepherd, who was played by Patrick Dempsey, may have been beloved by milliions of fans, but he wasn't nearly as beloved by ABC's bottom line. "Dempsey was among TV's highest-paid stars, earning what sources say was about $400,000 an episode — or roughly $9.6 million for a 24-episode season of the drama, which is produced by ABC Studios," wrote The Hollywood Reporter

THR
speculated that Dempsey may have wanted to move on to focus on TV development — he has a deal in place with ABC Studios — including a racing drama project he's been working on for SundanceTV. It's surprising that he chose to exit Grey's with a year left in his contract, but the departure could be a boon to the show's budget. 

The split, which had previously been rumored to be more of a firing over "diva behavior," may end up being mutually beneficial to both parties. Grey's gets to cut some costs, and Patrick Dempsey moves on to more creatively stimulating projects. 

I'll tell you who it's NOT beneficial for, though. Fans who now have to slog through Thursday nights without Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on their TV screens. Sigh. Congrats on saving some $$$, though, ABC. (THR)

Watch the video below for McDreamy's emotional last scene. 
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