Patrick Dempsey's Emmy campaign: Is he really a 'supporting' actor on 'Grey's Anatomy'?

Patrickdempsey_lLooks like Patrick Dempsey wants to make sure his chance at an Emmy nomination this year doesn’t become another victim of a showier serial killer (Dexter) or ladykiller (Don Draper). The Grey’s Anatomy heartthrob is taking himself down a notch from the leading-man category to supporting actor in his award campaign materials, the Los Angeles Times reports. You can’t blame a guy for trying: This season gave Dempsey noticeably more acting to do, as his Dr. Derek Shepherd navigated a shame spiral after losing a patient and also finally proposed to longtime star-crossed love Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo, who’s sticking in the lead category herself). He’s clearly trying to take advantage of his actual-range-of-emotions-showing clip reel while he’s got it. You never know when he’ll have to go back to simply looking pretty. Though, ironically enough, if there’s any season when the guy was a lead instead of supporting, it’s this one.

Other categorical surprises?
* Connie Britton as a supporting actress for another stellar season on Friday Night Lights. She deserves a nom even among the Glenn Closes and Holly Hunters, but certainly she should get a spot in the supporting category…right, voters? Please?
* Judy Reyes suddenly as a lead on Scrubs after about a thousand seasons.
* Chace Crawford, Ed Westwick, and Leighton Meester as leads for Gossip Girl. I’d love to believe they have a shot — Crawford’s grown tremendously this season and Westwick and Meester made the show worth taking seriously. But in categories with very grown-up actors like Sally Field and Gabriel Byrne, that longshot’s even longer.

What do you think, PopWatchers? Is Patrick Dempsey really a supporting actor? Who has a shot at nominations in these categories? Who would you like to see get a nod?

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  • Ceballos

    Jennifer, you’re right on in this article. The show’s an ensemble, but he’s always been CLEARLY the male lead on “Grey’s” Moving to the Supporting category is an even bigger joke, given that he finally had some acting to do this year.
    Like you said, can’t blame a guy for trying. Lead actor is incredibly brutal (Laurie, Hamm, Cranston, Hall, Chiklis, Chandler, etc.) and the Emmys seem to hand out Supporting Actor noms like they’re candy to the Grey’s cast.
    Still, if Dempsey gets a nod over one of my beloved (and infinitely more deserving) “Lost”ies, I’m going to be very annoyed.

  • Ceballos

    *I should say “Supporting” noms to the “Grey’s” cast, not necessarily “Supporting Actor.” I know Heigl, Wilson and Oh have been nominated in the same year.

  • Leigh

    This is the first season where I really appreciated Patrick’s acting so let the guy do what he’s gotta do to put himself in the running.

  • Adam

    He should be in the Lead Actor category…but doesn’t matter what category he’s in…he should not be nominated. Just not good enough with the competition out there.
    By the way, I hope this is a year for “Wilson” on House. HE deserves a nod.
    http://tvdonewright.com/2009/05/27/dexter-adds-john-lithgow-for-a-killer-role/

  • Ben

    He’s no supporting, he is the lead

  • Sara

    Doesnt matter he wont get nominated anyways. He sucks. At least have the balls to stay lead when you are LEAD.

  • graeme

    I agree that Dempsey had his strongest season ever. It’s the first time the writers actually made him a character on his own, instead of just being Meredith’s love interest. That being said, I think he belongs in supporting. Pompeo is the only lead on the show.

  • B-

    Whatever. No one had a case of “whine flu” when Kate Winslet submitted herself in Supporting for The Reader when it was CLEARLY a Lead Role… Why hate on a guy for trying. Emmy Voters play favorites every year. That’s why the noms are always predictable and the winners are easy to predict as well.

  • Cory

    I think that not only is he a lead actor, he’s THE lead actor on the show. As for people I’d like to see nominated, in addition to Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester from GG I’d like to see the following get nominations:
    -Elizabeth Mitchell and Evangeline Lilly from Lost
    -Katherine Heigl and Justin Chambers from Grey’s Anatomy
    -Cobie Smulders from How I Met Your Mother
    -Marcia Cross and Nicolette Sheridan from Desperate Housewives
    -Chloe Sevigny and Amanda Seyfried from Big Love
    -Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter from Dexter
    -Toni Collette and Keir Gilchrist from the United States of Tara
    -Michael Urie, Becki Newton, and Vanessa Williams from Ugly Betty
    -Kristen Chenoweth from Pushing Daisies
    -and all of the mentioned shows for either Best Drama or Comedy
    I’m expecting to be very disappointed when the nominations are announced.

  • hanna

    Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick of GG deserve noms. Sure, it’s a “teen drama”, but their performances are anything but.

  • KG

    the first time dempsey got nominated as a lead actor i was actually surprised. one, because he didn’t really do anything special; two, because i never saw him as a lead actor in the show (i’ve only thought of the show as having one lead – ellen pompeo).
    this season though he finally showed substance, and while his move to supporting actor is more tactical, i think it’s for the best.
    as for GG, meester and westwick may deserve nominations, but you know the whole history of emmy snubbing “teen dramas.” buffy, veronica mars, gilmore girls (i mean it was in the wb), friday night lights (it was set in a high school).

  • Jen from South Jersey

    Umm…. Is it really possible to have an cast as big as Grey’s Anatomy and not have a single “lead” actor? Because if you’re going to define one, it’s gotta be Dempsey. He is the only one who really gets continuous screen time through a whole season (well, James Pickens kind of does, but he’s rarely truly “central” to a storyline). I think him demoting himself is kind of sad, because he did have decent material this year and the supporting race is already so big, he may be worse off in the supporting category than in the lead.

  • Kristen

    I actually consider P. Dempsey/McDreamy a lead character on Grey’s, but whatever it takes to get him a nod I guess. He’s definitely more likely to get one in the supporting category.

  • Heather

    If anything, the Emmys should give the CW a chance. Gossip Girl is pretty good and Supernatural is even better. Supernatural really deserves at least to be on the short list.

  • Jodi

    Sandra Oh and Kevin McKidd should be nominated this year!! They were fantastic and their storyline was heartwrenching!

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