Shonda Rhimes of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal moves from ABC to Netflix

Shonda RhimesShonda Rhimes is officially on the move — and this could mean some big things for the future of broadcast television.

Late Sunday, it was announced that Rhimes, best known for her work on Grey’s Anatomy, Scandaland How to Get Away with Murder, is going to be signing a multi-year deal with Netflix alongside her Shondaland production company. Her longtime producing partner Betsy Beers is joining her in this role, as well.

In a statement, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos had the following to say about getting Rhimes on board:

“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.”

Meanwhile, Rhimes herself added the following, and did her best in the process to explain a few different things — including that her move to Netflix wouldn’t change the current status of any of her shows on ABC:

“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,” said Rhimes. “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.

“Our current shows will continue to thrive on ABC and Shondaland will be there every step of the way. I could not have asked for a better home to begin my career. I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people – especially our studio gladiator Patrick Moran and our most powerful and brilliant champion Channing Dungey.

“Starting today, we are thrilled to begin creating new Shondaland stories with Netflix.  Everyone at Shondaland is honored to expand both our audience and our creative identity with Ted and the entire team at Netflix.”

Do we think that this is actually the best move for Rhimes? Well, maybe if the right terms were listed in terms of financials. However, one of the other things that you have to remember here is that one of the big strengths of her shows on ABC was that they were huge when it comes to live-tweeting. There were communities that were born from viewing her shows in this way. With Netflix, there is less of a community and therefore fewer opportunities for Rhimes to build herself an audience like this with many of her shows.

Still, she’s a quality producer, and it’ll be interesting to see both what she does from this and also how ABC recovers from what is very clearly one of the biggest losses that they’ve suffered as a network in some time.

For the record, it is fairly interesting that this news comes after Disney’s reported plans to drop their programming from Netflix in favor of their own upcoming streaming service.

What do you think about Rhimes joining forces with Netflix, and do you think she was better suited over at ABC? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments! (Photo: Netflix.)

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