Patrick Dempsey is opening up about why he left “Grey’s Anatomy” after 10 years.

Ever since Dempsey’s beloved character’s (Derek Shepard) fatal end, fans have been wondering why his character came to an end that way?

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In an interview with The I Paper, the 52-year-old actor said it was just time to move on: “Look, 10 years is a long time to be on any show. It’s very hard to keep the storylines intriguing, especially on a network show with 25 episodes a year. So for me, it was time to go… it’s nice to move on and have new challenges.”

But even after almost four years, fans have been hoping for a surprise return.

“They want me to come back to the show which, given what happened to Derek, is really quite funny,” he joked.

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Dempsey starred as Dr. Shepard from 2005 – 2015 and appeared in 252 episodes of the hit medical drama. But now he’s onto something different, a miniseries “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”.

“You want to keep being able to surprise the audience,” he said of his new role. “Then hopefully you take your core audience from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, stretch them and make them come on a journey with you. Constantly improving as an artist.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” returns for season 15 later this month.

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