ABC Loses ‘Scandal’ Creator Shonda Rhimes to Netflix
The hugely successful television producer, known for shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” has signed a multi-year exclusive agreement with Netflix after a 15 year relationship with Walt Disney’s ABC Studios. Rhimes will be moving her production company Shondaland to Netflix, functioning as a division of its in-house studio to develop new shows.
While Rhimes will continue to be involved with her ABC shows that are still on the air or already in development, her move to Netflix is the latest in a growing battle between the streaming service and Disney. Last week, Disney announced that it would no longer be selling its movies to Netflix and instead would be launching its own streaming services.
Netflix’s deal with Rhimes is part of the service’s ongoing efforts to create more of its own content, relying less on programming supplied by outside studios and production companies. For her part, Rhimes told the Wall Street Journal that she’s “thrilled” by the idea of not being caught “in the necessary grind of network television.” Netflix, unlike broadcast television, is able to give creators more flexibility, without the expectations of a minimum number of episodes or seasons.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Rhimes’s deal with ABC was worth more than $10 million a year, generating more than $2 billion in revenue for the network. Terms of her deal with Netflix were not reported, but the publication noted that Netflix “has a reputation for deep pockets,” adding that Rhimes would also be receiving a cut from reruns and international sales of her shows created for the service.