While Patrick Dempsey is dissing Grey’s Anatomy, departed cast member Eric Dane is singing its praises. Though his character, Mark Sloan, died tragically last season, he admits that he would have stayed on the show until the series finale if they let him.

During a chat with Entertainment Weekly about his new TNT show, The Last Ship (premiering summer 2014), he said, “I loved doing Grey’s Anatomy. I would have done it until the final episode, but this was something I couldn’t pass up.”

Ultimately, he had to depart because Grey’s isn’t about “any one individual actor,” and the storylines were “heading in different direction.” Because of that, he was interested in something different and seizing a new opportunity, though his character, Tom Chandler, has a few things in common with Mark — and a few traits that are the complete opposite.

Eric admits that Mark “would never get on a ship,” but that they’ll “have to eventually bathe” — aka perhaps some shirtless time! Hello, McSteamy 2.0.  In all seriousness, though, he notes that the Michael Bay-produced show is a “physical challenge,” and not because he has to look fit. “On Grey’s Anatomy, I didn’t have to move too much,” he pointed out. “I think I ran through the hospital three times. But this is a more physically demanding role.”

We’re ready to watch Eric — shirtless or not — on his new show. Will you be tuning in? Sound off below.

Source: Entertainment Weekly