Shonda Rhimes Best & Worst

A-List TV Titans' Best & Worst: Every Shonda Rhimes Series Ranked

Sick of run-of-the-mill best-and-worst lists? We were, too. So in this new series of features, TVLine is singling out the small screen’s biggest behind-the-scenes titans, then ranking their output from their least to most impressive creations.

You know you’ve really made it in showbiz when you own a day — and, as ABC learned the hard way, Thursdays belong to Shonda Rhimes.

Since writing Britney Spears’ 2001 movie debut Crossroads, the Shondaland founder has gone on to launch one hit series (Grey’s Anatomy) after another (Scandal). And while she’s the only woman and the only African-American included on our list of top-tier uber producers whose work is being evaluated this time around, we have to think — and hope — that when we do it again in 10 years, a change will have come, and her success will have had more than a little something to do with it.

Now then, which of Rhimes’ series got the top spot on our countdown of her shows? Scroll through the gallery above right (or click here for direct access) to find out. Then hit the comments with both your reactions and your own rankings for her series.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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49 Comments
  1. Isaburd says:

    All of them. They’re all cringe-making bad. Grey’s started off okay but now NO. Scandal is the worst thing on t.v All of the characters are deplorable and the writing is shocking.

    • Chris says:

      I’m probably just old. But I can’t get into Scandal because they talk so fast (am I the only one that notices this?) I don’t know if it’s the editing or what. It just bugs the crap out of me.

    • Mark Green says:

      Yeah the characters are definitely some of the worst human beings.the bad thing is they seem to be this way on every one of her shows at some point or another

    • Grace says:

      Yeah, I don’t get it either.

  2. Giulia says:

    Off the Map should be ranked last. That was abysmal, and at least The Catch got to a second season. And Grey’s should not go on forever. It may be doing great in ratings, but the quality is so far gone, it’s hardly the great show it once was. Frothy soap opera, with a less-great ensemble (now that so many beloveds have gone).

    • the girl says:

      Agreed about Off the Map. I hate that Private Practice isn’t ranked higher, but I’m not sure I would compromise the top three either.

  3. Lauren says:

    Grey’s forever! I just can’t quit that show. It gets better every time I’m close to giving up on it.
    I’m pretty partial to Private Practice as well. Kate Walsh is wonderful. I’m still hoping to have her show back up on Grey’s.
    Oops, sorry/not sorry about the alliteration.

  4. SJ says:

    I don’t get all the hate The Catch gets, and not just on this website. It really is a fun little show. It’s not meant to be high art, but then again, nothing Shondaland does really is.

    Private Practice remains my favorite Shondaland production. It was, at least somewhat, grounded in reality and it dealt with topics much, much darker than any other show she ever produced. Too bad it was always the redheaded stepchild of the bunch.

    • Tennisnsun says:

      I agree with you about The Catch. It feels somewhat like one of those 1930’s movies with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, or William Powell and the dog Asta. I suspect that is why it is not popular now as TV is geared to viewers 18-45. They grew up without the pleasure of those fun movies and it’s a very different world out there. Too bad.

    • remizak says:

      I’m with you. I enjoy The Catch a lot. It’s frothy fun, with appealing characters and excellent production values. It’s surprising that it’s a Shondaland production, because it doesn’t take itself seriously. No show is for everybody, but I really don’t understand the heavy criticism of this show.

    • TJ says:

      Watch Imposters and then tell us how much fun The Catch is….. Imposters is what The Catch should have been.

  5. Hurley says:

    Private Practice “rarely great”? The last two seasons were way better than what Grey’s has been for years.

    • Hurley says:

      Also, Scandal is the worst show on TV for me, but hey everyone has a different taste.

    • Drewer says:

      Yeah I think overall PP is the best. It was frequently more entertaining than Greys. It also was the best Shonda show at balancing character’so work and home lives. Every season I think it got better, while Scandel and HTGAWM have become unwatchable.

  6. Adam says:

    Scandal has already overstayed its welcome by a couple of seasons. It was good in the first season, fantastic in the second season, messy frustrating with few fun spots in the third season, and disasters in every season since. For me, its legacy is pretty tarnished.

  7. Dominique says:

    they all started out strong, but slowly turned into shows where women are written as shrews under the pretense of “strong women” and men somehow still follow them around like puppies.
    i still watch grey’s anatomy, but i sometimes wonder, as it seems to head more and more into a direction where only a third of the cast gets to show up and then leave again for two to three episodes.
    off the map was wonderful, i really liked it and was disappointed when they cancelled it. it was, in my opinion, better than the catch and private practice.

  8. Darlene Cicciarelli says:

    I’m in love with The Catch I think the chemistry between the characters is so great. I hope this show stays on for more seasons.

  9. Ally Oop says:

    I tried but couldn’t get into Scandal–blame it on the series’ introduction which made me think it was a procedural. I watched the full first season of HTGAWM but by the end of the season I disliked most of the characters so much that I dropped it. I watched both Private Practice and Off the Map but neither woulld be on my All-Time Favourite 100 Shows list. As for Grey’s though…I still love it. There was a brief couple seasons after that horribly-written plane crash storyline in which Lexi Grey died and Mark Sloan eventually died that I wasn’t liking the show but the last two seasons have been stellar.

  10. flowerduh says:

    I loved Off the map. It was different I believed it deserved a second season. The Catch is fun to watch but most days I can take it or leave it. Grey’s really needs to send soon. I think Season 15 (if they make it that long) should be it’s last. All of the main characters have come full circle and there’s not really any new stories to tell.

    • flowerduh says:

      Private Practice was GREAT! I miss that show in a lot of ways. The social commentary was spot on! Especially, when one of the doctors got raped. That was so raw! The first season of Private Practice wasn’t that great but the season after that OMG I loved! I even watch it on Netflix on rainy days! Scandal’s first two season were worthy to be watched. Now I think the story line has been played out. I think when they veered into the B13 story line I think they lost most of their fans….me as well. I now watch Scandal (just like Grey’s) out of habit.

  11. Eric7740 says:

    Scandal will always be my number 1!!!! I don’t care what anyone says. Kerry Washington is just amazing to me. I will always love Greys, but when Shonda killed McDreamy, that left a sore spot for me as well as the awful treatment to Katherine Heigl and the Izzie character (Heigl haters be damned!!!) I always loved Private Practice and Kate Walsh and that show was more that just “pretty good”. I have fell for The Catch or Off the Map. And I love HTGAWM!!! Viola Davis is superb!!!

  12. Tennisnsun says:

    Can’t go wrong picking Grey’s as Shonda’s best but I really liked the first few years better when all the characters interacted with each other in the supply closet. I have been able to tolerate Scandal now that I have accepted that it is totally ridiculous. Doesn’t anybody ever get arrested for murder? I like The Catch but it needs help. I hope they give it another season.

  13. HTGAWM was the only good one and then They ruined that after s1.

  14. Jamey says:

    I watched, but didn’t love The Catch in season 1. However, i am enjoying it much more this season with the lighter side. I would like to see it go another 12 episodes to see if this change of pace could get more views.

  15. Ryan says:

    Private Practice was easily better then Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, both of which are only celebrated because they consistently try to shock the audience. But in doing so they sacrifice real character development and, especially for HTGAWM, oftentimes plot. Private Practice may not have had as many “OMG moments” but the characters were well rounded and the show actually spent time exploring their lives and making the plots relevant to them. They weren’t always the most likeable characters, but they were the most developed of any of the Shondaland characters (though, I can’t really say anything about The Catch or Off the Map as I’ve seen neither of those).

  16. Dennis says:

    I hope the Greg Berlanti list includes Everwood!

  17. wvugirl2007 says:

    Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice are the only ones I like. PP deserves more love and respect and Grey’s is still rocking.

  18. Emily says:

    I love The Catch, I don’t watch any of the other shows anymore. The Catch is fun and light, and I love all the connections with the characters. It’s supposed to be fun and fantasy. All the women in this world are smart and successful and powerful. The older-ish women get the hot guys, too.

  19. fernando933 says:

    The Catch is a great show!!! It just got time to get it where it needed to get.

    I like Murder better then Scandal and then Greys but Greys deserve to be number 1 it’s been on forever and will keep going on forever

  20. Shar says:

    I really like The Catch but do shudder whenever someone points a gun and blithely kills someone..
    The picture of Grey’s just reminded me how much I miss Sandra Oh.

  21. Shonda Rhimes’ shows are generally garbage. The first season or two of Scandal were decent, and I actually think The Catch is pretty good, if underachieving (the only Rhimes show I watch currently). Grey’s Anatomy has been laughably bad from the beginning. Scandal jumped the shark seasons ago. HTGAWM is uninteresting. The rest are sleazy pop-trash.

    The problem with her writing is that the characters TELL you how they feel, they don’t show you how they feel. And they tell, and they tell, and they tell, and they tell.

  22. Candace says:

    I’ve never actually watched The Catch, but I find it hard to believe that it’s worse than Off the Map.

  23. YASS says:

    Shonda didn’t create HTGAWM, so is it really her series?

  24. PoPo says:

    I looooove The Catch. It’s fun, light and witty. Main characters have an amazing chemistry. I honestly don’t understand the hate. It’s not pretending to be anything ambitious or high-brow. It’s supposed to bu pure fun and that’s exactly what it is.

  25. Eran says:

    Strongly disagree. The Catch is fun! And has only just started coming into its own. Off the Map meanwhile was about as engaging as fish sex.

  26. N says:

    Private Practice was my fav

  27. LMF says:

    I liked off the map. I like most of the shows. I liked Private Practice too and still watch Greys tho its not as good as it was. HTGAWM is my least favorite so I DVR and use it as a filler. Like scandal too but sometimes the writers get away from the original plot which made it good. Just started watching the catch but its on DVR so haven’t seen it yet other than previews. they should bring back Kate Walsh..

  28. Ally_D says:

    Private Practice is still my favorite of all the Shonda shows. The rape storyline with Charlotte was heartbreaking and still sticks with me.

    HTGAWM is simple escapism – I can suspend belief for 40 minutes.

    I dropped Greys and Scandal after all the episodes stacked up in Hulu and I just couldn’t be bothered to catch up. I miss Cristina too much and don’t even get me started on Olivia – a supposedly strong women who simpers whenever Fitz is near and puts up with being treated like crap is just too frustrating.

  29. matty says:

    I love the idea for this kind of column ranking TV Titan’s best series. Shonda is a great person to start with, but I would like to suggest someone for a future column who has a lot more credits to his name; the late, great Aaron Spelling. I’d love to see that list.

  30. HTGAWM’s characters are “engaging” and “grounded?” I quit watching because they were all Fruit Loops.

  31. TJ says:

    I finally “divorced” HTGAWM. I watched because I love Viola Davis but she seems to over act constantly on this. I couldn’t take it. The Catch is slightly better in the second season but not by much. I’m tempted to divorce it as well. I tried to divorce Grey’s a couple of times and then it would get good again. Maybe it’s because it’s her baby but Shonda puts more time into Grey’s than any other show. Scandal is a hot mess now. I will keep watching because it moves quickly so if I don’t like a story line, it will change in a couple of episodes.

  32. Toni says:

    I’ve watched 5 of these 6 shows (never heard of Off The Map) and dropped all but HTGAWM. That one may also get dropped because they killed a major character for a ridiculous reason and Season 3 wasn’t all that great regardless. But we’ll see.

  33. ERiQ says:

    It looks like a lot of TVLINE readers love PPP (if you don’t know what this is you’re not that big a fan)
    I still watch reruns of it, and would rather that than endure the Catch.
    Scandal and HTGAWM remains as background white (pardon the irony) noise whilst doing other things. I’ve

  34. shadester says:

    HTGAWM should be first. Scandal 2nd.