Shonda Rhimes Is Leaving ABC for Netflix—but TGIT "Remains Intact"

The Shondaland producer will create new series and other projects for the streaming service

By Zach Johnson Aug 14, 2017 11:30 AMTags
Shonda RhimesJay Goldman/ABC

Plot twist!

Emmy winner Shonda Rhimes is taking her Shondaland production company to Netflix under a multi-year deal to produce new series and other projects, the company announced Sunday. Rhimes' producing partner, Betsy Beers, will also be making the move to the streaming service.

"Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television," Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, told E! News 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."

Rhimes, who created megahits like Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, also issued a statement. "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," Rhimes said. "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."

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"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 [ABC Entertainment president] 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."

"I am a huge fan of the talented team and amazing programming at Netflix," Beers added. "The ability to create content for our new partners is an exciting challenge. I am grateful to everyone at ABC for their continued support and I look forward to beginning this next chapter at Netflix."

Many of Rhimes' shows, like How to Get Away With Murder, are currently streaming on Netflix. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of Rhimes' partnership with the company; the deal ends her 15-year relationship with ABC Studios, where she was earning an estimated $10 million a year. The TV titan's current pact with ABC Studios had been set to expire in June 2018.

Rhimes' TGIT block or programming will continue as planned in the years to come—with the exception of Scandal, which is filming its seventh and final season (premiering Oct. 5 at 9 p.m.).

"I'm proud to have given a home to what have become some of the most celebrated and talked about shows on television," Dungey said in a statement. "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."

Another Shondaland series, For the People, is expected to debut on ABC in 2018. Past and present TV productions include The Catch, Off the Map, Private Practice and Still Star-Crossed.