Shonda Rhimes, the mastermind behind hit TV dramas like Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder, will make the jump from broadcast TV to streaming after inking a multi-year deal with Netflix.
The industry-shaking partnership, announced Sunday night, will see Rhimes bringing her powerhouse production company Shondaland to Netflix, where Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers will oversee a new series and other projects. Netflix did not disclose financial terms of the deal.
“Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan [Netflix Chief Content Officer] 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.”
The deal will also allow Rhimes to work in a different format than the more structured world of network TV. “I’m thrilled by the idea of a world where I’m not caught in the necessary grind of network television,” Rhimes told the Wall Street Journal.
The Netflix deal ends Rhimes’ 12-year association with ABC, which began in 2005 when the network debuted her Grey’s Anatomy. The Grey’s spinoff Private Practice arrived two years later, followed by Shondaland’s ratings hits (Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder) and misses (The Catch, Off the Map) for the network. The Rhimes-produced legal drama For the People will debut on ABC later this year.
Rhimes’ ABC series will continue to air on the network even as she moves Netflix.
“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. 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.”
The addition of Rhimes comes less than a week after Netflix added the Coen brothers’ Western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs to its ever-growing roster of exclusive content.