Shonda Rhimes Moves to Netflix in Major Shondaland Shake-up

The Grey's Anatomy creator said the streaming service provides "unique creative freedom."

by | August 14, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by ABC)

There’s been a major shake-up in Shondaland — Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes is moving her TV empire from ABC to Netflix.

Rhimes, the massive TV titan responsible for bringing ABC’s TGIT lineup to life, has signed on to produce new series and other projects for Netflix with a new, multi-year deal that moves her production company, Shondaland, from ABC Studios.

In regular-person speak: That means nothing will change for viewers immediately, and nothing changes for Shondaland series already in the works (including a Grey’s spinoff and a new legal drama set to debut on ABC at midseason), but from now on, anything Rhimes creates will be for Netflix rather than the broadcast network.

In a statement, Rhimes called the move “the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers” fueled by a joint vision with Netflix boss Ted Sarandos.

“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 said in a statement. “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 founded Shondaland in 2005 when she launched Grey’s Anatomy, and the company has since produced six other ABC shows — Private Practice, one-season series Off the Map, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, The Catch, and Still Star-Crossed — with two more, the untitled Grey’s spinoff and legal drama For the People, yet to premiere.

Grey’s, Scandal, and HTGAWM will continue to air on ABC, but Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers will begin creating new content for Netflix starting immediately.

Rhimes and Netflix already had an existing relationship; while all of Rhimes’ series air on ABC in the U.S., HTGAWM streams on Netflix everywhere else in the world. The new deal solidifies that bond.

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” Sarandos said in a statement. “Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best.”

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