Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes signs multi-year deal with Netflix

Netflix have won another battle in the war against scheduled TV – this time poaching the Scandal creator from ABC

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Netflix have added yet more star-power to their ever-growing arsenal of top-level TV talent, signing Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes on a multi-year deal.

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Variety reports that she will be joined at Netflix by executive producer Betsy Beers, one of the most successful TV producers of the last decade who has overseen all of Rhimes’ series. 

The move represents another coup for the streaming giants in their battle with broadcast television, as it ends Rhimes’ 15-year-long relationship with US network ABC, where she had run hit shows Grey’s, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal.

The deal will come into effect in June 2018 after her current contract with ABC comes to an end. 

In a statement, Rhimes said: “Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos [chief content officer at Netflix] and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” said Rhimes in a statement. “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix.”

Advocates of schedule-free TV will be encouraged by recent developments in the streaming game. In the past week, Netflx have signed Joel and Ethan Coen up for a six-episode series, while competitor Amazon has won Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s signature. 

If Grey’s Anatomy’s success is any marker for what Rhimes can provide Netflix, the service has just hit the motherlode. The medical drama was a mega-hit in its early years, and while its popularity has declined over time, it maintains a solid following as it enters its 14th season.

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The deal, however, does not affect Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal or How To Get Away With Murder, which will continue to air on ABC in the US.