Ratings: Patrick Dempsey’s Surprise ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Return Is Thursday’s Top Entertainment Show

But ABC medical drama’s Season 17 premiere was down from last year’s start

Thursday was a (Mc)Dream(y) come true for “Grey’s Anatomy” fans. Patrick Dempsey made a surprise return to the ABC medical drama — via Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) dreams — for its Season 17 premiere.

While the cameo helped make “Grey’s” broadcast television’s top entertainment show in primetime last night, the two-hour premiere was down from last year’s Season 16 start (a 1.5 rating and 6.5 million viewers). It also couldn’t keep up with a lackluster NFL game on Fox, though that is to be expected.

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Tony Maglio

Tony Maglio

TV Editor • tony.maglio@thewrap.com • Twitter: @tonymaglio