If you had any doubts that the future of TV is streaming, then let network television queen Shonda Rhimes explain it; On Sunday, Rhimes signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce new and original Shondaland shows.
“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.”
One Netflix spokesperson stated pointedly that the company wants to be a home for black artists pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling:
Shonda joins so many of the best black creators in the game that have chosen to call Netflix home, including Spike Lee (Director: She’s Gotta Have it), Ava DuVernay (Director: 13th, Central Park Five), Justin Simien (Director: Dear White People), Dee Rees (Director: Mudbound), Yance Ford (Director: Strong Island) and Marlon Wayans (Producer: Naked).
Netflix offers creators like these something that other networks don’t: complete creative freedom. You can watch pure, unfiltered #BlackGirlMagic / #BlackBoyJoy whenever you want, wherever you want, and on whatever device you want with Netflix.
Netflix currently streams Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and How to Get Away With Murder from the Shondaland world, but working with Netflix means Rhimes and her colleagues aren’t restricted by schedules, ratings, or — most importantly — standards and practices. That means Shondaland with swears, Shondaland with uninhibited sex scenes and probably a lot more of that murder everyone gets away with.
It’s going to fantastic.
Current Shondaland shows on ABC will continue to air there, but Rhimes was likely already on her way out of ABC, with a year left in her deal with the network. Last year, she expressed an interest in leaving “traditional TV” with large-batch episode releases or varying episode running times. It was reported in 2016 that ABC was also hunting for more procedurals and live shows rather than traditional scripted drama, which are Rhimes’ specialty.
Lastly: Netflix is PETTY AF. Disney took something from them; they took something from Disney.
Boy howdy. Studio on studio violence.
— Irascible KW, Phd (@kristenwarner) August 14, 2017
“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,” Rhimes said in the release. “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.”
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