Shonda Rhimes Exits ABC for Netflix

Shonda Rhimes Network

So this is what Shonda Rhimes has been secretly plotting.

The prolific producer has left her perch at ABC Studios and is taking her Shondaland production company to Netflix under a multi-year deal, it was announced late Sunday. The pact calls for Rhimes to produce new series and other projects for the streamer. Her current series — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder — will continue to air on ABC. 

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, in a statement. “Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I’ve gotten the chance to know Shonda and she’s a true Netflixer at heart -— she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”

In her own statement, Rhimes said, “Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted 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.”

ABC’s entertainment president Channing Dungey, meanwhile, noted that two other Rhimes-produced projects in the network’s pipeline — midseason drama For the People and the in-the-works Grey’s Anatomy spinoff — will not be impacted by the Netflix move. “I’m proud to have given a home to what have become some of the most celebrated and talked about shows on television,” Dungey added. “With the launch of a new season upon us, fans can rest assured that TGIT remains intact and will be as buzzed about as ever.”

As our sister site Deadline points out, Rhimes departs ABC Studios one year before her four-year deal was set to expire. Her new Netflix pact is also reportedly for four years.

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