If you’re anything like me, ABC’s TGIT nights are something you've looked forward to for years. Forget about that five-page paper due tomorrow—there’s a three-hour Shonda Rhimes marathon on tonight! Whether it’s How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal or Grey’s Anatomy, I’m sure Shonda Rhimes’s producing and writing skills have had you glued to your laptop or TV screen at some point.
Although Rhimes started building her primetime empire a long time ago, she might have just made her most dramatic career move yet: a major network shift from ABC Studios to Netflix. This news doesn’t come as a complete surprise since over the past year she’s expanded her production company significantly by hiring new executives and building a viewer database on her website. These may have been hints that she was preparing to break off her long-standing relationship with ABC. (She's worked with The Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC, ever since she wrote the script for The Princess Diaries 2 over a decade ago.)
In a statement, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos applauded Shonda’s work and said he believes she'll make a great addition to the company. “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…We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”
Shonda also shared a statement about the big business decision. “Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted 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. He understood what I was looking for—the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.”
Don’t worry, TGIT fans—this network change doesn’t mean our favorite night of the week is getting canceled. Shonda will continue to work on all her current ABC shows, including an upcoming Grey's Anatomy spinoff, and they'll continue to air on ABC. She'll just be creating all her new shows through Netflix.
We may have to wait for Shondaland's Netflix debut, but ABC's fall lineup has already been released, so mark your calendar and get ready for more nail-biting, gasp-inducing late nights, brought to you by the inimitable Shonda Rhimes. I can't wait to see what she does next.