I was not aware of this. Now, apparently, this is old news. But it’s news to me and, since we’re in the barren wasteland of December television, now is as good a time as ever to discuss why he could have killed the show. I’m going to go ahead and say that Grey’s Anatomy dodged one hell of a bullet. I have nothing against Rob Lowe. He was an honorary member of the Brat Pack back in the eighties (although some could argue that he was the weak link). He was great as the villain in “Wayne’s World” and on “The West Wing”. He participated in one of the first celebrity sex tapes. All good things. However, Rob Lowe would have been a disaster as Dr. Derek Shepard.
I have no way of proving this; we’ve never seen Lowe in the role. All we have is the proclamation, by Shonda Rhimes and Rob Lowe, that he was the first choice for Shepard but turned it down because of his commitment to NBC’s “Lyon’s Den”. Also, it’s always easy to look back and be negative when another actor has come and totally inhabited a role. Patrick Dempsey is Derek Shepard; we have no idea how Lowe would’ve played it. But, I still think Rob Lowe would’ve been terrible. Mr. Lowe has a certain characteristic in all his work: his characters are smarmy. They can be likable, sure, but only despite his smarminess. Derek Shepard, as we know him, is a good guy. Personally confused sometimes, yeah, but who isn’t. Dempsey does play the role with a certain amount of cockiness, but I think Lowe, as per usual, would’ve run wild with this trait. Pure speculation on my part. Regardless, I think one of the things that is common to almost all hit shows is that they become that way with some luck. “Seinfeld” only barely made it through its first two seasons without getting canceled. I bet if Shonda Rhimes had to do it over, Dempsey would be her first choice. -Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Senior Writer, BuddyTV