Shonda Rhimes is spreading her wings to pastures new.
In a shock move that is reverberating around the TV arena, the critically acclaimed creator has been poached by Netflix after several years of exclusivity at ABC.
More, including what this means for her shows such as ‘How To Get Away With Murder,’ ‘Scandal,’ and ‘Greys Anatomy,’ below…
According to sources, Rhimes – who was nearing the end of an exclusivity window with ABC – was growing “restless” as she felt she had accomplished all she could within the confines of traditional broadcasting.
Thus the allure of streaming service Netflix, who are making aggressive plays to both change and merge the ways folk consume TV and film.
With Rhimes being one of only handful of producers to control an entire night on a network ( with ABC’s ‘TGIT’ block of programming), this is a huge coup for the on-demand platform. Especially as all of her future shows will now be “Netflix originals.”
Speaking on their acquisition, which will see the producer’s entire Shondaland company move in-house at Netflix, the service’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said:
“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television. Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I’ve gotten the chance to know Shonda and she’s a true Netflixer at heart — she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”
Though a huge loss for ABC, the network will continue to air all existing Shondaland shows currently running.
In a statement issued after the announcement, execs were incredibly gracious in their words about Rhimes, with whom they enjoyed a relationship spanning over 10 years.
Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment said:
“Shonda, Betsy and I started working together with the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy and those early days will forever remain one of the highlights of my professional life. We are happy to continue working with Shonda and her team at Shondaland on Grey’s, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and the upcoming For the People and Grey’s spinoff. I’m proud to have given a home to what have become some of the most celebrated and talked about shows on television. With the launch of a new season upon us, fans can rest assured that TGIT remains intact and will be as buzzed about as ever.”
Patrick Moran, president ABC Studios added:
“We’re so proud of the work we’ve done with Shonda and Betsy throughout our long and productive relationship. From the worldwide success of Grey’s Anatomy to today, with five series (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, For the People, and the Grey’s spinoff), a pilot from Allan Heinberg and a number of projects in development, we will continue to shepherd that success together. The Shondaland imprint will always be an important part of ABC Studios and we wish them all the best in this new endeavor.” [Source]
Congrats to Shonda and to Netflix! This is a great look on both fronts!