"The writers have made this extra effort to breathe new air and refresh everything," Jason George tells PEOPLE

Credit: Danny Feld/ABC/Getty

Everything changed after McDreamy was killed off on the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy back in April. Many fans wondered how the show could possibly continue without seeing Patrick Dempsey every week, but Jason George, who plays Dr. Ben Warren, says the show‘s prognosis is good.

“The writers have made this extra effort to breathe new air and refresh everything,” George, 43, told PEOPLE at the Television Academy’s Dynamic & Diverse Emmy cocktail party at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills on Thursday.

“They’ve hit reboot almost. There’s a lot of things that make it feel brand new, but it has that lightness and sense of humor that people fell in love with in the first place,” said George. “And the sexy sexy is back on. There are a lot of people who are not in couples now and are falling into bed. Everyone’s getting a little bit of loving.”

Still, that doesn’t mean that Dempsey isn’t missed on set. “It’s different. Every time someone leaves a show, it changes,” said George. “The show has been on 12 years, but it has to change. People think they want everything to stay the same and everyone to be happy, but happy people make for boring television, ultimately.”

So what does George miss most about Dempsey? His car. “He had a sweet ride, that’s for sure,” joked George. “Seriously, though, whenever anyone leaves, you miss them. It’s just a new dynamic.”

The new season of Grey’s Anatomy premieres on Sept. 24 on ABC.