Shonda Rhimes Sells Historical Drama To ABC

By Jessica Grabert 2011-08-24 19:05:03 discussion comments
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Off the Map may have been canceled, but that doesn’t mean creator and showrunner Shonda Rhimes hasn’t been behind a lot of winners for ABC. The network favorite is probably most famous for Grey’s Anatomy, but she’s also worked out plotlines for other ABC pilots ranging from Off The Map to Private Practice. She’s certainly good with doctor dramas, but with her upcoming series Scandal revolving around a PR firm, she’s proved she has talents in more than one genre of writing.

Ever faithful, ABC has noticed Rhimes' skill and is confident in her cross-genre writing abilities. The network is even prepared to give her a shot in period projects, and has bought the rights to Rhimes’ newest project, Gilded Lillys. According to THR, the hour-long drama will be set in 1895 and will feature the family who owns the first luxury hotel in all of New York.

If the story gets picked up, I have no problem believing Rhimes’ characters will be dense and interesting people woven together cleverly. I do worry about the network’s choice in a writer, though. K.J. Steinberg is set to write the pilot. Her former projects are limited to programs like Gossip Girls, The Nine, and State of Mind. It’s not that she’s an incredibly crappy writer, rather, it's just that 19th century dialogue is a lot tougher to work out than contemporary conversations, which is where Steinberg’s experience lies. I guess they are banking on the fact Steinberg’s most recent writing duties have allowed her to work with snooty characters.

I hope to hell Steinberg succeeds, because working with Rhimes is like being handed Willy Wonka’s golden ticket rather than finding one by chance.
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