Wait, what?! Shonda Rhimes is leaving ABC — the network that made her a household name with her Shondaland shows! — and has signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix, it was announced on Sunday, Aug. 13. The 47-year-old television producer, screenwriter, and author began working for ABC 15 years ago in 2002 and brought audiences hit shows including Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal, just to name a few.
According to Variety, Shonda will soon start creating new series for Netflix while continuing to produce her current ABC shows. Her longtime writing partner, Betsy Beers, is also moving to Netflix with Shonda in the coming months.
“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,” Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in 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,” Shonda said.
Interestingly, many of Shonda’s ABC shows are already streaming on Netflix. Fans of Grey’s Anatomy — which premiered in 2005, was recently renewed for Season 14, and is getting another spin-off show — can watch several past seasons of the medical drama on the streaming site. Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder are also available to watch on Netflix in the US and a few other countries.
Shonda’s move to Netflix has reportedly been in the works for months as her current contract with ABC is set to expire in June 2018. The single mom-of-three — she has daughters Emerson, Harper, and Beckett — reportedly told ABC a “long time ago” that she would be taking her work elsewhere when her longrunning deal with the network came to and end. We can’t wait to see Shonda’s new shows on Netflix!