November 11, 2008 12:00 AM

The revolving door to Seattle Grace Hospital’s ER sent Brooke Smith on her way last week, but this week the Grey’s Anatomy cast has happier news to announce: Kevin McKidd is joining the show as a series regular, ABC reveals to PEOPLE exclusively.

The Scottish actor, 35, who starred in Made of Honor with Patrick Dempsey earlier this year, is thrilled to have the new gig after his starring role on NBC’s Journeyman came to an end after 13 episodes this year. “It’s a great show, and I’m lucky to be on it,” he tells PEOPLE. His character, Dr. Owen Hunt, is a veteran from the war in Iraq and a love interest for Dr. Cristina Yang.

McKidd, who lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jane, and children Joseph, 8, and Iona, 6, says he is happy to be working with Dempsey again, though their previous screen pairing was mere coincidence. “I got a knock on my door from Patrick,” he says of his first day on set. “I said, ‘did you have anything to do with this?’ He said, ‘no, they don’t tell us anything.” –Lisa Ingrassia


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