Adding to its roster of A-list talent (Dave Chapelle, Ava Duvernay) and quality original programming (Stranger Days, Marvel’s Luke Cage), Netflix has scored another big deal. Shonda Rhimes is packing up Shondaland and moving from her longtime home at ABC Studios to the streaming giant.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, under the multiple-year deal, Rhimes and her Shondaland banner will create and produce new projects for Netflix. Rhimes’ longtime producing partner Betsy Beers will continue to head Shondaland in the move to Netflix. Under what is said to be a lucrative four-year pact, Rhimes is expected to score a percentage of the back-end on programming she creates for Netflix.
“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. “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.”
Netflix has already helped Grey’s Anatomy, which is part of its streaming library, become ABC’s most-watched drama — a rare accomplishment for a series in its 13th season. The veteran hospital soap heads into season 14 in the fall as it sets its sights on being the longest-running medical drama on television alongside ER.
“Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” Rhimes told the publication. “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for — the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.”
Rhimes had been with ABC Studios for 15 years, and the primetime network will continue to remain home to Grey’s Anatomy and its upcoming spinoff as well as How to Get Away With Murder, the last season of Scandal, and the forthcoming drama For the People.
“Our current shows will continue to thrive on ABC and Shondaland will be there every step of the way,” Rhimes said. “I could not have asked for a better home to begin my career. I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people — especially our studio gladiator Patrick Moran and our most powerful and brilliant champion Channing Dungey. Starting today, we are thrilled to begin creating new Shondaland stories with Netflix. Everyone at Shondaland is honored to expand both our audience and our creative identity with Ted and the entire team at Netflix.”
ABC Studios will remain the home to Shondaland disciples Pete Nowalk (How to Get Away With Murder), Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy), Stacy McKee (the Grey’s spinoff), Don Todd and Paul William Davies (For the People), Mark Fish (Scandal), Mark Wilding (Grey’s spinoff), Bill Harper (Grey’s Anatomy) and Allan Heinberg.
“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, a pilot from Allan Heinberg and a number of projects in development, we will continue to shepherd that success together,” ABC Studios president Moran said. “The Shondaland imprint will always be an important part of ABC Studios and we wish them all the best in this new endeavor.”