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Rob Lowe turned down lead role on Grey's Anatomy

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Mar 18, 2014 | 5:21pm EDT

Actor Rob Lowe turned down the chance to play a leading role in hit TV medical series Grey'S Anatomy to star in the short-lived drama Dr. Vegas. The former West Wing star left his post at the acclaimed White House drama in 2003 to star in his own series, The Lyon's Den, which lasted just six episodes. Lowe had the opportunity to return to TV in 2004, but faced a tough choice when he was offered two medical roles. Recalling the offers in his new memoir Love Life, the actor writes, "I got an urgent call from the producers of a potential new show for (U.S. network) ABC called Grey's Anatomy. I agreed to meet with the people making Grey's Anatomy." He adds, "I had read it and loved it. The writing was crisp, real and very entertaining, and it's always been a good idea to hear out talented people." "'We would be thrilled if you would play Dr. Derek Shepherd,' they said right off the bat. I was torn. Grey's was a much better script; in fact, there was no comparison... (but) I chose Dr. Vegas. The odds were just too stacked." The role eventually went to Patrick Dempsey, who became a household name overnight thanks to the success of the series. Dempsey has played Derek Shepherd on the show for the past 10 seasons. Dr. Vegas, which also starred Amy Adams and Tom Sizemore, was cancelled after just five episodes.

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