Shonda Rhimes Cuts a Deal with Streaming Giant Netflix

We’re on the brink of witnessing an all-out war as viewers and creators alike are switching their allegiance from traditional broadcast television to online streaming services. Leading the charge is ABC’s own, Shonda Rhimes – the creative force behind ScandalHow To Get Away With Murder and Grey’s Anatomy.

Image credit: Entertainment Weekly

Netflix has announced that it has entered into an exclusive multi-year development deal with Rhimes, rumoured to be in excess of $100 million. Under this deal, all of her future productions will be under a Netflix Original banner.

The service has already held U.S streaming rights to Rhimes’ well-known and highly regarded work on past episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Chief content officer Ted Sarandos has described Rhimes as being a “true Netflixer at heart”, since “she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience”.

Rhimes, herself, added,

“Sarandos 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”.

The deal was considered to be a coup for Netflix due to her prominence at ABC; it was almost considered to be a counter towards a move by ABC’s parent company, Disney, to reduce the availability of their content on Netflix in favour of a planned subscription streaming service of their own.

Rhimes amongst the stars of her hit shows: Viola Davis, Kerry Washington and Ellen Pompeo.
Image credit: Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

It’s not only new talent looking to streaming services such as Netflix as their foothold into the cumbersome film and television industry; but top-tier producers, directors, and writers are also seeing streaming services as the revolution that digitally takes a firm grasp on changing how we watch television shows and films. Wanting to be in front of the box at 7:30pm on the dot to catch your favourite show is now an impractical pastime as more and more creators, and viewers alike, make the switch to on-demand ad-free streaming services offering the promise of greater creative freedom.

Shonda Rhimes’ departure from ABC/Disney has been one of the major ongoing factors leading to heavy speculation of which a bleak new reality is being painted for old-school broadcast stations trying to hold on to big names as the light of a digital revolution era burns brighter with each passing moment.

Who else do you expect Netflix (and other streaming giants) to poach in this all-out turf war? Leave us a comment below!