David Crotty/PatrickMcMullan.com/Sipa/AP
Lynette Rice
June 15, 2015 AT 12:00 PM EDT

While many Grey’s Anatomy fans may believe there is no way to fill the hole left by Patrick Dempsey, this hunk could come close.

Martin Henderson—who starred in the ABC dramas Secrets & Lies and Off the Map—has been cast in the medical drama. The New Zealand-born actor will play a surgeon and is expected to show up in the drama’s 12th season premiere on Sept. 24, TVLine reports.

After killing off Dempsey’s character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, in April, Rhimes released a statement saying she “absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our ‘McDreamy'” but teased the possibility of more change. “Meredith and the entire Grey’s Anatomy family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say: The carousel never stops turning.”

Since Shepherd’s last episode, fans have flooded Twitter with pleas to resurrect his character and even began a petition in hopes to persuade ABC and Rhimes.  The petition has generated 106,000-plus signatures. 

In an exclusive discussion with EW, Dempsey said he wanted “to try something different” in TV. “But will I be allowed to do something different? Is Derek so identifiable that I can’t go on and be someone else? That will be the challenge. To see if people embrace me as someone else.”

Over the weekend, the Porsche-driving Dempsey came in second in the Le Mans GET Amateur category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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