It's a good time to be Shonda Rhimes. A career that was catapulted into the limelight with ABC's medical drama Grey's Anatomy has since grown into a corporation and production company that essentially owns a day of the week. Because following the success of Grey's (which is currently in its whopping 13th season), ABC has produced quite a few of Rhimes' following dramas. The network has even given her company Shondaland a full night of programming, with Thursdays airing new episodes of Grey's, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. And now it appears that Rhimes may be hitting gold again, as ABC has ordered a new pilot from Shondaland.
Variety has just dropped the news that Shonda Rhimes' production company is producing a new law pilot for ABC. Though still untitled, the project is set in the South District of New York, focusing on lawyers from opposing sides (aka both defense and prosecution). Of course, the personal lives of the lawyers will be a major focus of the pilot, and we'll likely see how their court cases mirror the interpersonal struggles of the law team. Think Grey's Anatomy but in court.
The upcoming pilot is being written and created by Paul William Davies, who has previously worked with Shondaland on the political drama Scandal. Davies has served as both a writer and story editor on Scandal, meaning he knows how to navigate within ABC, as well as Shonda Rhimes' company. Shonda Rhimes and her partner Betsey Beers (who has produced various other Shondaland projects) will also serve as executive producers, although they won't be writing the script themselves. Davies will also serve as the showrunner for the pilot.
If the untitled law drama is picked up to series, it will mark an outstanding sixth ABC drama that Shonda Rhimes and company currently has airing. In addition to the three TGIT shows, Peter Krause's The Catch debuted in March. Finally, there is another untitled series that is on the way, which has been tentatively titled Star Crossed. With the potential for six shows running at once, it feels like ABC should basically hand over the keys to Shonda Rhimes. The lady knows how to make a successful TV show.
It's actually a bit surprising that Shondaland is developing a law drama pilot, considering the production company already has one such drama on the air. How to Get Away With Murder has gained quite a bit of positive reception since its premiere, especially Viola Davis' stunning performance as Annalise Keating. With HTGAWM only on its third season, it should be interesting to see if two legal dramas can function on the same network.
ABC's TGIT programming is set to return Thursday, January 26th. To make sure you don't miss one of your favorite shows returning to primetime, check out our full list of winter premieres.