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'Grey's Anatomy' ratings surge for McDreamy's big episode

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Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Current and former Grey’s Anatomy fans flooded to the long-running ABC hit Thursday night to witness the fate of Dr. Derek Shepherd. 

The hugely buzzed-about episode, “How to Save a Life,” delivered 9.4 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49, jumping 33 percent from last week’s rating, though still falling shy of the show’s premiere last fall. Grey’s managed to rank as the night’s second highest-rated show, behind only The Big Bang Theory on CBS.

The hour saw Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) — spoiler alert — perish from injuries sustained in a car crash, ending Dempsey’s 11-year run on the series. Fans began to suspect the good doctor was in danger last week; hours before the telecast, the news that Shepherd was being killed off leaked online.

EW had complete and exclusive #McDeady coverage, including an interview with Dempsey, a statement from creator Shonda Rhimes, and a deep-dive recap of the episode.