For more than a dozen years now, Shonda Rhimes has been one of the most successful TV producers working, and her Shondaland production company has continued expanding the empire that was built upon the shoulders of the ABC juggernaut Grey's Anatomy. But Rhimes won't be a major creative force solely for ABC anymore, as she has signed what is assumedly a lucrative multi-year deal with Netflix, making the streaming giant the new home for all the exciting dramas that Shondaland will drop on viewers in the future.
This is one of Netflix's biggest recent moves in terms of securing television talent, and Shonda Rhimes has seemingly gotten exponentially busier in the years since Scandal rose to fame. (Even if some projects played out less successfully than others.) The new deal will last for an undisclosed number of years, and it could possibly open things up for her in a huge way, as Netflix isn't necessarily solely interested in the development of TV shows proper, since the team-up also includes the option for other kinds of projects to get fast-tracked. Let's not forget that Rhimes penned the scripts for the features Crossroads and The Princess Diaries 2 before introducing the world to Meredith Grey and her hospital compatriots.
Shonda Rhimes clearly isn't bummed out by the news. Her statement championed Shondaland's storytelling prowess, as well as the global reach that Netflix will provide the company and its creators.
Shondaland's move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company. 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.
Note that Shonda Rhimes' upcoming move to Netflix won't have any direct effect on her myriad projects at ABC, including the big spinoff project that was announced some months back. Scandal already saying goodbye after this season anyway, but likely nothing but low ratings will bring Grey's Anatomy to an end.
Netflix and Shonda Rhimes' exciting new deal is also bringing aboard producer Betsy Beers, who has served as Rhimes' production partner since Grey's Anatomy's earliest days. Clearly, the streaming company wanted to make certain that Shondaland's finest were as comfortable as could be without having the ground shake too much beneath them. It'll be an interesting next few years.
This marks another recent effort by a streaming company to lock down the talents of a big TV name, as Amazon roped in The Walking Dead comic book creator Robert Kirkman, who will work on creating new projects with his company Skybound Entertainment. By my calculations, it's about time for Hulu to sign an exclusive deal with Law & Order creator Dick Wolf.
While Shonda Rhimes won't have anything locked in for a Netflix premiere too soon, given the deal just went down, fans can currently catch all seasons of all three of her current dramas ready to stream instantly. And we can definitely expect to see that trio returning for more suspenseful situations next month. Grey's Anatomy will kick off the shaken-up Season 14 with a two-hour premiere on Thursday, September 28, at 8:00 p.m. ET, followed at 10:00 p.m. ET by the Season 4 premiere of How To Get Away with Murder. Scandal fanatics will have to wait a week for the seventh and final season to debut on Thursday, October 5, at 9:00 p.m. ET.