How Shonda Rhimes Will Change Netflix For the Better
When Grey’s Anatomy premiered back in 2005, Shonda Rhimes was a relatively unknown writer. Since then, the creator, writer, showrunner, and producer has changed television for the better. With more than a handful of shows under her belt including, Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and the forthcoming legal drama, For the People, Rhimes has been a force not just in television overall, but for ABC in general.
After 13 years, Rhimes is leaving ABC behind for the revolutionary streaming service Netflix. A massive competitor in the entertainment space, we’re confident that Rhimes’ move to Netflix is going to change the streaming service for the better.
A new chapter for Shondaland
Rhimes’ $10 million a year contract with ABC expires in June 2018. However, Variety is reporting that she informed ABC many months ago that she planned to move on. Rhimes made it clear that she would not be moving to a direct competitor, but instead to a new chapter in her career.
Rhimes’ producing partner, executive producer Betsy Beers, will also be headed to Netflix with her.
Next: No gender-pay imbalances here
Compensation for women working in Hollywood is a major talking point right now, and it looks like Netflix was more than willing to pay Rhimes the big bucks for their deal with her.
Variety reported, “The complicated deal is believed to include innovative backend profit definitions for Rhimes to accommodate for the lack of syndication opportunities for programs produced for Netflix’s global platform. The deal was hammered out by Rhimes’ longtime reps at ICM Partners and attorney Michael Gendler.”
Next: Taking Shondaland to the next level
From putting people of color front and center to discussing LGBTQ issues, violence, and so forth, Rhimes has always been known to push the envelope. However, there’s only so far she can go within the constraints of primetime television.
On Netflix, the sky is the limit. If she shocked us with her content in the past, then we can’t even imagine what Shondaland’s Netflix content will look like.
When Rhimes’ deal with Netflix was made public, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos released a statement saying,
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.
Next: A very different Shonda Rhimes show.
A different kind of show
Looking at Shondaland’s current lineup, it’s clear that all of Rhimes’ shows fit into a particular niche. A Netflix deal allows Shondaland to tell different kinds of stories.
There is this idea that when you work on network television, well, every network has a brand, kind of. There’s a certain kind of show. And I feel like people thought — or think — that the Shondaland brand is a very specific kind of show that we make. And that is a show that we make because we are on ABC for our ABC audience, which I love and I’m proud of, and it’s a very big audience, and it’s worked quite well for us.
Next: Giving others new opportunities at ABC
ABC won’t fall apart
With all of this good news for Rhimes, Shondaland, and Netflix it seems like ABC might be getting the short end of the stick, but that’s not necessarily the case.
According to Variety, “A good deal of Rhimes-related series are still in the pipeline at ABC Studios, which also has numerous overall deals with showrunners associated with her shows.”
This means that though Rhimes is moving on, the impact that she has made on ABC will pave the way for other women and minority content creators to do the same on primetime television.
Next: Here’s what will happen with TGIT.
TGIT will remain intact
When Rhimes first announced that she would be parting ways with ABC, fans of the TGIT’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder were horrified. However, they shouldn’t be worried; those shows belong to ABC.
Shonda, Betsy and I started working together with the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy and those early days will forever remain one of the highlights of my professional life. We are happy to continue working with Shonda and her team at Shondaland on Grey’s, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and the upcoming For the People and Grey’s spinoff. I’m proud to have given a home to what have become some of the most celebrated and talked about shows on television. 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.
We’re all going to have to say goodbye to Scandal soon though, now that the last season has arrived.
Next: Shondaland Netflix spoilers
What will Shondaland look like on Netflix?
We know that Rhimes will have carte blanche on the streaming service, but that’s as much as we know about her Netflix deal.
When asked about the type of content she will be creating, the master creator coyly responded, “Oh, wow, those are spoilers. I don’t give spoilers! But you’ll have to watch and see.”
Follow Aramide on Twitter @midnightrami.
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