The patio dining room of the refined Hotel Bel-Air will never be the same for the two teen girls who just spotted Patrick Dempsey, one of the cover subjects of TV Guide's fall preview issue.
Dressed casually on an August morning in a striped shirt and jeans, the father of three (Talula, 5, and twins Darby and Sullivan, 7 months) has finished the morning newspaper and is digging into a plate of eggs Benedict.
Dempsey, 41, flashes the famous smile that sends estrogen levels surging, rises from the banquette and happily poses for a picture with the young ladies.
"I didn't even know the show was on in Saudi Arabia," he says, delighted.
Although last season Grey's Anatomy suffered from surprising complications â€" hard-to-diagnose storylines and painful backstage drama â€" the rabid audience that fell in love with the surgeons of Seattle Grace kept the faith.
And Patrick Dempsey's Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd remains the show's most feverishly admired male character.
"What's great about Patrick is that he's both warm and funny," says Grey's Anatomy creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes. "He's just as dreamy as you'd think he'd be. And what I love about the way he plays this character is that he has ups and downs and always pulls them off."
Quick to return the compliment, Patrick Dempsey says of his boss:
"Shonda is very clear on where she wants to take the show, a real visionary. She is creating it as it goes along and you have to surrender to that. It took me a long time to come to terms with it, but that's why I go off and do other things like movies and racing to balance it out."