When Eric Dane was killed off at the beginning of Season 9 of "Grey's Anatomy," fans of Mark Sloan and his shirtless ways mourned his loss ... but it all started to make more sense when he was cast as Tom Chandler on TNT's "The Last Ship" a month later.
Although Dane was happy to join the Michael Bay-created series, he admitted that it was hard for him to leave "Grey's" behind.
“'Grey’s Anatomy' is a world ... it’s not about any one individual actor and the storylines were sort of ... you know, heading in different directions. So it was an opportunity for me to go and I was interested in something different,” he told EW. “I loved doing 'Grey’s Anatomy.' I would have done it until the final episode, but this was something I couldn’t pass up.”
When Shonda Rhimes wrote Dane off the series last September, she said she killed him off because she didn't want to leave him alive and grieving for his girlfriend Lexie, who died in the epic plane crash in the Season 8 finale.
“That doesn’t sound like what I want for my beloved Mark Sloan,” she wrote in a blog post. “So, I fought it and I debated it and tossed and turned about it but in the end, I had to do what was right for the integrity of the character ... So Mark dies. And he and Lexie get to be together in a way. Their love remains true.”
Season 10 of "Grey's Anatomy" premieres Thurs., Sept. 26 on ABC at 9 p.m. ET.