Shonda Rhimes Makes the Move to Netflix

Shonda Rhimes

 Netflix has added a powerful new weapon to its war on conventional television. Shonda Rhimes, producer of a string of hits on ABC is moving her production company Shondaland from ABC to Netflix. Rhimes has agreed to a multi-year deal to produce new series and other projects for the streaming service.

Rhimes has a string of mega-hits at ABC that include Grey’s AnatomyScandal, and How to Get Away With Murder.  Rhimes long-time producing partner Betsy Beers will be joining her at Netflix.

Through an existing relationship Netflix already streams Rhimes’ hit shows. The shows will continue on ABC as the new seasons begins.

Chief Content Officer at Netflix, Ted Sarandos called Rhimes “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.” Sarandos added that she is a “true Netflixer at heart.”

Rhimes said the move is part of a plan between herself and Sarandos. In a statement she said, “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.”

Expressing her gratitude to ABC for kicking off her career Rhimes said, “I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people.” 

Netflix seems to be a new home for black artists and producers. A spokesperson stressed this point saying the streaming TV the company wants to be a home for black artists pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling.

Shonda is not the first black producer to join Netflix. Others include Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay,  Justin Simien, Dee Rees,  Yance Ford and “In Living Color” alum Marlon Wayans.

Attracting black producers is becoming a strength of Netflix’s effort to capture audience. The company claims to offer space for complete creative freedom. Netflix subscribers can see uncensored episodes of Spike Lee’s #BlackGirlMagic/#BlackBoyJoy on demand on any device with Netflix.

No financial terms or the partnership were released.

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