The Most Dramatic TV Exits of All Time

In light of Thomas Gibson's announcement that he's leaving Criminal Minds, we're taking a look at other surprising TV departures

PATRICK DEMPSEY, GREY'S ANATOMY

Shonda Rhimes is known for surprising her viewers with plenty of plot twists on all of her shows – Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder are just a few – but one of the most gut-wrenching episodes of all featured the untimely death of Grey's Anatomy's Derek Shepherd (played by Dempsey.) Fans mourned, but the exit was a long time coming for Dempsey, who had expressed his desire to leave the 11-year series. "I'm very happy to have moved on to a different chapter in my life," he told EW of his departure. "As painful as it was for me as a storyteller, the only way to preserve what felt true to me is that Derek was going to die in order for that love to remain honest," Rhimes previously said of her decision to kill off Dempsey's beloved character.