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Rob Lowe Was Almost Derek Shepherd In “Grey’s Anatomy,” But Said He Wouldn’t Have Been As Interesting As Patrick Dempsey


I think it’s safe to say that Derek Shepherd is synonymous with Patrick Dempsey.


Randy Holmes / Walt Disney Television via Getty

But just imagine an alternate reality where McDreamy isn’t Dempsey, but rather Mr. Rob Lowe.


Noel Vasquez / Getty Images

In his 2014 memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, Rob revealed, “I got an urgent call from the producers of a potential new show for ABC called Grey’s Anatomy…I had read it and loved it—the writing was crisp, real and very entertaining—and it’s always been a good idea to hear out talented people.”

He said he was asked “right off the bat” to play Dr. Derek Shepherd, but ultimately decided to star on a CBS show called Dr. Vegas, alongside Amy Adams.


Frank Ockenfels / CBS

Now, Dr. Vegas was cancelled after one season, so you’d probably assume that Rob was kicking himself for turning down a lead role on a now 17-season show.

But, nope! In a new interview with Variety, the 9-1-1: Lone Star actor explained, “There are no accidents.”


Valery Hache / Getty Images

“Whatever decision you come to, if you come to it from the right place, it’s never wrong.”

“Me in that part isn’t as interesting as Patrick in that part. If it’d been me [the fans] wouldn’t have called me ‘McDreamy,’ they would have called me Rob Lowe.”


Chris Delmas / Getty Images

He added, “Had I done Grey’s, I wouldn’t have been in Parks and Recreation. That alone for me is enough.”


Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via

Okay, I literally could not imagine anyone else playing Chris Traeger. Literally.

And we got to see both Rob Lowe and Patrick Dempsey on our screens at once, so really the best of both worlds. All’s well that ends well.

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