Acclaimed television writer and producer Shonda Rhimes has signed a multi-year deal with Netflix, where she’ll produce new series and work on other projects for the streaming company. The deal means Rhimes, known for her work as the creator and show runner of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, will depart ABC after 15 years with the broadcaster. She will be reportedly paid around $10 million a year at Netflix, and will be accompanied in the move by longtime collaborator Betsy Beers.
“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, in a press statement. “Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best.” Shows from ShondaLand — Rhimes’ production company — including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder will continue to air on ABC. These shows are also available to stream on Netflix (depending on your region.)
The move to Netflix means Rhimes will be able to work in a wider range of genres and formats, according to Variety. "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.”
This deal marks another step in a content arms race where companies like Netflix and Amazon are carving up exclusive deals that would usually only be available to TV networks — at least back in their heyday. Just last week, Amazon pinched The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman from AMC. While a single show might be valuable, having a creator on board where all their new shows will be exclusive to one platform is especially lucrative. Netflix currently has 104 million subscribers in over 190 countries, so the appetite for high-quality, original content remains huge.