August 28, 2014 8:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Grey's Anatomy's' Patrick Dempsey Inks Development Deal With ABC Studios (Exclusive)
The actor and his Shifting Gears Entertainment banner has inked an overall deal with ABC Studios, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Dempsey will create and develop new scripted fare for the studio, which produces the Shonda Rhimes-Betsy Beers drama poised to enter its 11th season in the fall. Under the deal, Dempsey and his Shifting Gears producing partner/manager Joannie Burstein have also tapped Ben Tierney as senior vp production. Tierney joins the company after serving as vp production at Tobey Maguire's Material Pictures and working as a development exec at Johnny Depp's Infinitum Nihil banner.
Additionally, Shifting Gears has optioned Michael Cannell's racing book The Limit as a potential drama series at Sundance TV. Published in 2011, the book tells the story of Phil Hill, a California mechanic who in 1960 became the first American-born driver to win the Grand Prix, racing in an era of glamor, valor and daring.
Dempsey, who in January inked a new two-year deal to remain on Grey's Anatomy through a potential 12th season, has starred as Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd since the medical drama's inception. He is one of the few remaining original stars on the series, which last year saw Sandra Oh exit.
The deal comes after Dempsey executive produced Velocity's Racing Le Mans, a four-part docuseries chronicling the car racing enthusiast's participation in France's legendary 24-hour race. Dempsey's company is also attached to produce the Universal feature Art of Racing in the Rain.
"I like working in television. I think that's the best place to be where you can get your stuff seen," Dempsey told THR in a July 2013 interview about Le Mans, noting he had a handful of other documentaries that he'd like to bring to the small screen.
Dempsey joins Rhimes and Beers' Shondaland as well as co-star and on-screen love interest Ellen Pompeo with producing deals at ABC Studios. Pompeo launched production company Calamity Jane in 2011 and is developing a cop drama for ABC and financial satire Debt for ABC Family.
Dempsey is repped by UTA, the Burstein Co. and Stone Meyer.