Patrick Dempsey to Star in CBS Political Drama From Nina Tassler

The 'Grey's Anatomy' alum will return to broadcast as the lead of the newly ordered 'Ways & Means.'
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Patrick Dempsey

Five years after "McDreamy" was shockingly killed off of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, leading man Patrick Dempsey is returning to broadcast.

The actor has signed on to star in and executive produce Ways & Means, a newly ordered drama pilot set up at CBS with Nina Tassler, the network's former entertainment president, attached.

Ways & Means (formerly known as The Whip) revolves around a powerful congressional leader (Dempsey) who has lost faith in politics and finds himself working secretly with an idealistic young congresswoman from the opposing party to subvert the hopelessly gridlocked system he helped create. Together, they’ll attempt to save American politics...if they don’t get caught.

SEAL Team, Unforgettable) will pen the script and exec produce the project alongside Dempsey, Tassler and her PatMa Productions partner Denise Di Novi and 3 Arts' Tom Lassally. Dempsey's longtime manager, Joannie Burstein, will serve as co-exec producer on the effort.

Ways & Means marks Dempsey's first broadcast series-regular role since his character, Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd, was written out of Grey's Anatomy during the 11th season of the ABC medical drama from creator Shonda Rhimes. Dempsey, like his character, became a fan favorite for his role opposite Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey. Since then, he has completed work on an Epix miniseries, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, and worked on features as an actor with Bridget Jones's Baby and as a producer with The Art of Racing in the Rain. Dempsey is repped by UTA, the Burstein Co. and Stone Genow.

Tassler, meanwhile, stepped down from her role as CBS entertainment president in 2015 following an 11-year run at the top of the network. She and Di Novi launched their PatMa banner in 2018. Last summer, CBS took an ownership stake in PatMa and signed the company to a first-look deal. Ways & Means is the shingle's first formal pilot order at CBS.

Overall, Ways & Means is the fourth drama pilot in the works this season at CBS. It joins adaptations of The Equalizer, The Lincoln Lawyer and Clarice, a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs.

Keep track of all of this season's pilot orders, castings and eventual series orders with THR's handy guide.