Patrick Dempsey leaves 'Grey's Anatomy;' fans practically flat-line

Patrick Dempsey leaves 'Grey's Anatomy;' fans practically flat-line
Actor Patrick Dempsey, known for his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd in the TV series "Grey's Anatomy," where he is often referred to as "McDreamy." (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

The latest episode of “Grey's Anatomy” was a McNightmare for fans of the long running medical drama on ABC.

Patrick Dempsey's character — Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd — was killed off Thursday night in the episode titled “How to Save a Life.”

The character’s untimely end was not a shocker to everyone; news leaked when some subscribers to Entertainment Weekly got their new issue early, which featured a piece on the character’s death titled "The Doctor is... Out." It only got worse from there when viewers on the East Coast took to social media to talk about the episode before it aired in the West.

Entertainment Weekly apologized for the spoiler in a statement published by Variety.

An original member of the cast and perhaps the most popular through the years, Dempsey had one year left on his contract. However, there have been numerous reports through the years he wanted to leave much sooner.

On Twitter, #GreysAnatomy was the No. 1 worldwide trend Thursday night. Fans of the show shared their sorrow and outrage that what was supposed to be a major shocker was a whimper, not a bang. Still, most shared their heartbreak over the death of the character:

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