Netflix has signed Shonda Rhimes to a multi-year production deal, ending a 15-year relationship with ABC Studios that yielded hits from “Grey’s Anatomy” to “Scandal.”
Her shingle, Shondaland, will begin producing new series for Netflix while she continues to stay involved in her current broadcast series. Executive producer Betsy Beers will also come to Netflix with Rhimes, one of the most successful TV producers of the past decade.
“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, Netflix, in a statement. “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.”
Rhimes has been a consistent supplier of successful dramas for ABC, including most recently “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Scandal.” Her first series for ABC, medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” was a home run out of the gate and is heading in to its 14th season this fall. A “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff is also in the works.
Netflix is familiar with the Shondaland milieu. The streaming service has long carried older episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “HTGAWM” in the U.S., and in select markets around the world.
The Rhimes pact reflects Netflix’s increasing interest in producing original series the company can own, as well as the arms race continuing to escalate between not only the streaming service and TV networks, but other subscriber VOD options like Amazon Prime and Hulu. Earlier this week, Amazon signed on another proven hitmaker, Robert Kirkman, creator of AMC’s megahit “The Walking Dead.”
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