Monday, August 14, 2017

Super-producer Shonda Rhimes dumps ABC in America and jumps to Netflix in a new 4-year deal to create shows for the international streaming service.

Super-producer and writer Shonda Rhimes - the woman behind hit shows like Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and countless others - has decided to drop America's ABC TV network and is moving to Netflix.

Shonda Rhimes, responsible for some of the most iconic TV characters and strong female leads on television the past decade is leaving ABC Studios and moving her Shondaland production company to Netflix under a multi-year deal where she will be producing new shows for the international online streaming service.

While upcoming seasons of current shows like Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal (called The Fixer in South Africa) will continue to air on ABC in America and on channels like M-Net (DStv 101), VUZU AMP (DStv 103) and in South Africa, her newly conceived shows in her new 4-year deal will be available on Netflix only.

Two upcoming and already commissioned shows, a legal drama called For the People, and a Grey's Anatomy spin-off will also remain on ABC this these have been planned before the jump to Netflix.

In a sense Shonda Rhimes helped build and fuel the type of television now known as "binge-watching", creating serialised stories where viewers become addicted to the ongoing narrative of characters going through such dramatic events that viewers can't help but come back to see the pay-off in a next episode that quickly builds up to a new one.

Shondaland, in which Shonda Rhimes partnered with producer Betsy Beers, will serve as a division of Netflix's in-house studio. Shondaland leaves ABC although there's still a year left of the existing 4-year contract.

It brings to an end Shonda Rhimes decade-and-a-half relationship with Disney while shows like Grey's Anatomy - 13 seasons in and still not running out of steam, remains hugely popular around the world and on South African streaming services like Naspers' Showmax that carries library seasons.

"Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television," says Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer 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."

"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," says Shonda Rhimes in the statement announcing her jump to Netflix.

"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."