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The Only Reason Grey's Anatomy's Crew Didn't Mind The Denny's Ghost Storyline

You don't get to be one of the longest-running medical dramas without taking a few risks. "Grey's Anatomy" was the platform on which television juggernaut Shonda Rhimes built her empire on. Audiences have been drawn to her shows like a moth to a flame, from "Scandal" to "How To Get Away With Murder" and now, "Bridgerton." But there is nothing like the iconic first seasons of "Grey's Anatomy" and perhaps its most notorious storyline of Ghost Denny. Beloved patient Denny Duquette launched Jeffrey Dean Morgan into the role of The Comedian in "The Watchmen," as well as our hearts. Season 2 introduces the character as Izzy Stevens' (Katherine Heigl) love interest, who eventually succumbs to heart failure. But while heartbreaking, that wasn't quite the end. Denny returns in Season 5 in an ambiguous storyline where he appears to be a ghost. For many, this storyline went too far and raised many questions that fans took to Reddit to answer.

"Denny's ghost. Who's idea was that?" u/alwyashgih asked a former crew member in an AMA. Unsurprisingly, the crew member revealed that they had nothing to do with that storyline. "The writers. Not mine," they answered. "Jeff Dean Morgan was such a cool dude to have around, so no one seemed to mind it's ridiculousness. I mean. Ghost Denny wasn't the weirdest thing they'd ever done." The medical drama has had such a long history of strange events that it is hard to find anyone involved that regrets the storyline.

Denny wasn't actually a ghost

To be clear, Denny isn't a literal ghost. Though that is how he is remembered in pop culture, Denny's appearance has a logical explanation. During Season 5, Izzy starts to have sexually vivid dreams about her dead fiance, which viewers learn are a symptom of her brain cancer. Fans didn't love being taken for such a long ride, but you won't find Shonda Rhimes making excuses. The showrunner is vocal about not reading criticisms, and when Entertainment Weekly pressed her on the backlash, she was taken aback.

"We all thought it was really surprising that anybody thought there was a ghost on our show," Rhimes reflected. "We're a medical show. We thought it was surprising that anybody would look at it and go, 'Gee, that's a ghost.' So that was surprising to us." You also won't be hearing Jeffrey Dean Morgan complaining about his time on the show. Quite the opposite. When appearing on "Hot Ones," the actor credited the role to the success of his career, such as fan-favorite characters such as villainous Negan on "The Walking Dead."

"'Grey's Anatomy' I knew was something special. That's the one time that I saw my death coming and was trying everything I could do to get out of that death," Morgan told Sean Evans. He understood that he struck gold with the character and tried to hold on, saying: "I was like 'please don't kill me. I will do... [anything.]'"