Another red flag for ABC. Their drama hit maker Shonda Rhimes is officially exiting her deal with ABC Studios and is migrating to Netflix.
This is a bold move by Netflix who have poached one of the biggest drama series creators and showrunners on broadcast television, who is still at the top of her game, for their network. Rhimes has always pushed boundaries in her shows which include Grey's Anatomy, Scandal (which is ending next year), and How To Get Away With Murder. Now that she is migrating to Netflix, the possibilities are literally endless.
Rhimes will continue to work on the shows she already has on the air on ABC including the three listed above as well as the upcoming dramas For The People and the Grey's Anatomy spin-off. Shonda's most recent shows: The Catch and Still-Star Crossed, which were both cancelled by ABC months ago, failed to reach the same levels of hype and success of Rhimes' previous shows. Both shows also received a lacklustre critical reception too.
Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. “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.”
“Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” said Rhimes. “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 the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.”
Shonda's new deal is a huge blow for ABC, where she had become the most successful creator and producer for drama content on ABC over the past decade. As ABC heads into the 2017-18 season, they will have to prepare for a potentially bleak future without Rhimes supplying them with new content, no Scandal or The Middle, the end of Modern Family and their very expensive American Idol acquisition. Shonda's move is not just a big blow for ABC, but a major blow for network television as a whole. More series creators who have built their careers on broadcast networks could move to Netflix and other streaming services permanently which do not have to follow the same strict rules, regulations and time constraints.