Shonda Rhimes is excited to turn the page and see where her characters take her.
In her first public remarks about her huge multiyear deal with Netflix, Rhimes said she is looking forward to being free of the limits of network television and flexing her creative muscle. "I’m really excited about the future on Netflix. There’s nothing wrong with having spent so many years telling network television." Still, "the constraints of network television tell you what kinds of stories you can tell. Period. And that’s just the way it is."
Shonda Rhimes: Making the Netflix Move
Speaking as part of the "TV Game Changers" panel at an event this week put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, writer and showrunning powerhouse Shonda Rhimes said she is energized by the opportunity to surprise audiences familiar mostly with her signature "soapy, twist-heavy" style: "There is a brand that people assume that I am, and the kinds of stories that I can tell, and they have nothing to do with me as a writer, but simply have to do with the fact that we were on ABC… I’m excited to tell other stories. I’m excited to tell stories in different ways. I’m excited to be able to just do things in a different way. It’s just time."
Rhimes' current slate of hits (Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, and Grey's Anatomy) will continue to air new episodes on ABC, though this is currently Scandal's last season. Two new shows, For the People and an untitled Grey's Anatomy spinoff, will also air on the network.
Rhimes' production company, Shondaland, will continue to operate mostly independently while also transitioning into an editorial platform of sorts as well. Of her vision for Shondaland, she told AdAge in October, "I'm not interested in a lifestyle site. There's not going to be a lot of beauty tips or articles on what lipstick to wear. It's anything you can talk about that's important to you."
As Shonda Rhimes moves her talents to Netflix and carves out a larger space in the mediascape for Shondaland, she's taking to heart a line from one of her signature series: "It's handled."