ShondaLand is making the jump from TV to streaming service, as Shonda Rhimes has inked a multi-year deal with Netflix. This will mark the end of her 15-year partnership with ABC, which has become the home of all of her media properties - starting off with highly popular medical drama Grey's Anatomy, back in 2005.
Specifics of the deal, especially the financial aspect of it, have not been disclosed. But with Rhimes' supposed $10 million dollar a year contract under ABC, it is assumed that Netflix offered the veteran producer a lucrative contract prompting her to make the shocking move. Talks about the agreement have reportedly been going on for a few months, even though there's nearly a year left in Rhimes' existing deal with ABC. However, even before Netflix approached TV exec, she had expressed a desire to venture outside her current broadcasting company.
In his official statement, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has nothing but excitement to express, regarding his company's new deal with Rhimes:
“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 mirrored Sarandos's sentiments with her statement, saying that she is eager to work under Netflix's banner:
“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."
So what will happen to existing ShondaLand shows in ABC like the long-running Grey's Anatomy, critically-acclaimed political thriller Scandal (which is set to air its final season) and fan-favorite How to Get Away With Murder? They are going to stay with ABC, along with a new spin-off for the medical drama (which is still going strong after 13 seasons). Beyond that, Rhimes has promised fans that her remaining properties in the Disney-owned station will still have full oversight from her and her team.
Recruiting Rhimes is the latest in the slew of Netflix's property and talent acquisitions of late - proving that the company is aggressively pushing for creating original content. The streaming giant just picked-up The Ballad of Buster Scruggs from the Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan) last week, in addition to order David Letterman's six episode-long return to TV (which starts airing in 2018). They have also made their first IP purchase in Mark Millar's Millarworld: the comic book company behind such successful comics-turned films as Kickass and the Kingsman franchise.