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Shonda Rhimes and Shondaland Jump Ship in Favor of Netflix

By on August 14, 2017

Shonda Rhimes | Photo credit Jay Goldman

Disney and Netflix continue to duke it out over the future of streaming content this week, with the streaming giant landing a significant punch today.

Less than a week since the announcement that Disney will pull its fare from Netflix with an eye to producing its own streaming content, comes news of Netflix’s new deal with Disney/ABC golden girl Shonda Rhimes. Under a multi-year deal, Rhimes will bring her Shondaland production company to Netflix to produce new series and other projects. Longtime producing partner, Betsy Beers makes the move to Netflix as well.

Shondaland is the production company behind ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Private Practice and the upcoming For The People and the Untitled Grey’s Anatomy Spinoff.

The move further unites Rhimes with Netflix. While Shondaland’s award-winning series such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder air in the U.S. on the Disney owned ABC — and will continue to — How to Get Away with Murder streams everywhere else in the world on Netflix, with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal available on Netflix in many regions as well.

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. “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 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.”

Said Beers, “I am a huge fan of the talented team and amazing programming at Netflix. 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.”While it’s likely Rhimes’ Shondaland will blossom in a streaming environment, free from the programming restrictions of broadcast networks, Netflix’s move must surely come as a sore blow for ABC and Disney.

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