Please pay close attention to how Shonda Rhimes is standing in the above picture. That’s the “A bitch is ‘bout ta get PAID!!!” pose. Because even though she’s the best thing to happen to the ABC station since colorization. Shonda is packing her bags and taking her twisty brand of storytelling over to Netflix.
Variety reports that Shonda has signed a deal with Netflix for her production company Shondaland to produce exclusive content for the streaming service, ending a lucrative fifteen year run with ABC Studios. In a statement released by Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix:
“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.”
Shonda’s shows like Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder have been consistent powerhouses for ABC’s Thursday night lineup (better known at TGIT). This deal will surely catapult her brand to the next level since all of the new content will remain exclusive to Netflix. So the burning question here would be how much did Netflix have to twerk to make Shonda stray from her main boo ABC? Unfortunately those details, like Katherine Heigl’s career, have been kept under wraps.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rhimes was earning an estimated $10 million a year under her previous ABC Studios pact. Netflix undoubtedly is paying a premium to Rhimes and in overhead for Shondaland to bring her into the fold under the exclusive deal.
Rhimes’ existing pact with ABC Studios had been set to expire in June 2018. It’s understood that Rhimes let the studio know some time ago that she intended to move on after the deal ended — not to a direct broadcast competitor but to a new chapter of her career. At that point, discussions ensued to allow Rhimes an early exit from the deal.
Shonda’s producing partner Betsy Beers will be coming over to Netflix to assist Shondaland with its new content as well. This deal is pretty major and it comes right after Disney’s decision to cut ties with Netflix by 2019 to start its own streaming service. Netflix currently already streams older seasons of Scandal, HTGAWM and the show that started it all for Shonda, Grey’s Anatomy. Talk about #blackgirlmagic. I ain’t mad at you Shonda, get all the money you can sistah! I can’t wait to see the new contest she comes up with. As a matter of fact, I have the perfect show for you. It’s called Hire Ben. It revolves around a woman named Shonda who hires a man named Ben. Think about it.