The Q&A section of ABC’s executive session kicked off with a question about last season’s decision to kill off Patrick Dempsey’s character McDreamy on Grey’s Anatomy, which came as a shocker, dividing Grey’s fans.

“It was great, wasn’t it?” ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee started his answer with, eliciting muted chuckles. “It was great to see Grey‘s being so relevant and taking the national conversation in its eleventh season,” he continued, noting that the death of Dr. Derek Shepherd was “a difficult decision” and deferring any further inquires on how and why the decision was made to series creator/showrunner Shonda Rhimes.

As for Dempsey, “he has a lot of interest outside of (Grey’s), he is big into motor sports,” Lee said.

Lee spoke enthusiastically about the storylines for next season of Grey’s Anatomy. “It reinvents itself,” Lee said. “Shonda Rhimes is a remarkable showrunner, and there is no reason to expect that the show won’t go on for many many years to come.”