Shonda Rhimes Is Leaving ABC, Taking Shondaland to Netflix
Grab your popcorn, 'cause this streaming war is good drama on its own. Robert Kirkman just left AMC for Amazon, and Shonda Rhimes is now exiting her contract with ABC Studios for a deal with Netflix. Yep, that's a blow to Disney -- since ABC is owned by Disney -- in what you might consider return fire after Disney just announced it's pulling its Netflix titles to start its own streaming service.
All Out Streaming War is on!
According to Deadline -- which called the movie "one of the biggest talent gets for Netflix yet that could shake up the drama series TV landscape" -- Rhimes had one more year under her four-year deal with ABC Studios but negotiated an early exit so she could go to Netflix for a richer deal of similar length.
Don't worry that this means any changes for the existing Shondaland shows, like "Grey's Anatomy," "How to Get Away With Murder," and "Scandal," which is going into its last season. Rhimes will still work on those ABC shows, and also the "Grey's Anatomy" firefighters spinoff. The TGIT lineup is staying on ABC. But for future projects, at least in the next few years, Shonda is heading to Netflix.
Why? She was reportedly getting "restless," Deadline heard, and felt she had accomplished all she could on broadcast TV after 12 years.
Ted Sarandos, Cheif Content Officer at Netflix, shared a statement on the move:
"Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television. 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."
Rhimes shared her own statement, referencing Sarandos:
"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."
We'll have to wait and see who goes where next.
"Grey's Anatomy" and "How to Get Away With Murder" both return Thursday, Sept. 28. "Scandal" starts its final season on Thursday, Oct. 5.
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