MIPCOM: Patrick Dempsey Honored With CanneSeries Excellence Award

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Patrick Dempsey

The actor thanked Shonda Rhimes for giving him a platform with 'Grey's Anatomy.'

Patrick Dempsey praised Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rimes when accepting the CanneSeries Excellence award at MIPCOM.

“[She] has given me the platform to be part of an incredible ensemble and inspired so many people — the show has been on for so long now that people have gone into medical school and have come out and are practicing doctors. I think that's what I'm most proud of. So that shows you the power of television,” he said in accepting the award.

He said he grew up in small-town Maine when there were only four broadcast channels available. “That's where I learned the most, with television through images, through culture and what it could bring to me,” he said.

Dempsey is also at MIPCOM presenting his Sky TV drama Devils, which delves into the 2008 banking crisis. “I can't tell you what a joy it is to work in Europe … the future of television is really around the world right now: opportunity, different perspectives, cultures, stories,” he said.

His children are devoted to the screen more than they read books he noted, which means creators have a great responsibility to bring a global perspective to programming. “A wise man once said, 'Don't listen to the politics, listen to the people.' Travel to the countries and understand them and then you understand the world,” he said.

Dempsey was presented the award by CanneSeries artistic director Albin Lewi, who noted that Dempsey swaggered into the Palais in a white linen suit embodying the “creative chic” dress code of the festival. Dempsey has been a supporter of the upstart TV festival after attending the inaugural event last year.

Lewi noted that Dempsey follows Dominic West in taking the TV festival's annual acting honor: “A pretty good list for a start.”