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Shonda Rhimes Is Reteaming With Scandal Writer For Exciting New Netflix Series

Shonda Rhimes on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
(Image credit: ABC)

Fresh off the success of the Netflix true crime series Inventing Anna, Shonda Rhimes is back at it with the announcement of a new upcoming series for the streaming service, titled The Residence. Rhimes is well-known for re-teaming with actors and colleagues from past projects, and this one will be no different, as former Scandal writer/producer and For the People creator Paul William Davies will serve as showrunner and executive producer on the new project.

The Residence will be an eight-episode drama and will use the book The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Anderson Brower as a jumping off point for a murder-mystery, THR reports. Shonda Rhimes and longtime Shondaland partner Betsy Beers will also executive produce. 

The official synopsis, according to Netflix, describes the upcoming series as a “screwball whodunnit” that takes place inside the White House:

132 rooms. 157 suspects. One dead body. One wildly eccentric detective. One disastrous State Dinner. The Residence is a screwball whodunnit set in the upstairs, downstairs, and backstairs of the White House, among the eclectic staff of the world’s most famous mansion.

The Residence falls in familiar territory for longtime TV producer Shonda Rhimes, who was a well-known fan of The West Wing and explored the dramatic and salacious inner workings of the White House for seven seasons on Scandal. But we're not quite used to screwball shenanigans coming from the TV queen's wheelhouse, so this should be fun. 

Kate Anderson Brower's 2015 book offers an intimate account via interviews with the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers and others who have tended to various U.S. presidents and their families, from the Kennedy administration to Obama's dual terms. Using this real-world knowledge of what goes on behind the closed doors of the White House as the setting for a murder mystery is a really intriguing concept, especially given Shonda Rhimes' interest in the topic and her proven mastery at telling a spellbinding story.

Development of The Residence was first announced all the way back in July 2018. That was when Shonda Rhimes left ABC to set her original Netflix slate of planned projects, and when she acquired the rights to Kate Anderson Brower's book. It's been a long time coming, but hopefully that just means its arrival will be all the more worth it. 

There's no information yet regarding an estimated release date or cast, but it's a fair bet to make that we'll see some of the regular Shonda Rhimes players in the credits in addition to Paul William Davies. For instance, Rhimes' steamy Netflix series Bridgerton featured Regé-Jean Page, who also starred in ABC's For the People, while a number of Scandal alums appeared in Inventing Anna, including Katie Lowes, Joshua Malina (who also starred on later seasons of The West Wing), Kate Burton and Jeff Perry (both of whom played Meredith Grey's parents on Grey's Anatomy). 

Stay tuned for more information regarding The Residence, and in the meantime, Shonda Rhimes' Inventing Anna and Bridgerton are both available for streaming for those with a Netflix subscription, and be sure to check out our 2022 TV Schedule to get the premiere dates for all of the new and returning shows.  

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.