Friday, April 19, 2024

It’s a Shonda: ABC Loses “Grey’s Anatomy” Creator Shonda Rhimes to Netflix, Which Gets Away with Murder


Shonda Rhimes is moving Shondaland from ABC to Netflix. This is a ‘shonda’ or shame in Yiddish, for ABC, which has lived on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder” for years.

Now Netflix has gotten away with murder, luring Rhimes and partner Betsy Beers from broadcast TV to the land of whatever you call it– computer watching, Smart TV, Something. The ‘other’.

The trades are freaking out because Netflix probably spent a fortune and took one of ABC’s best providers of content. But who knows what the future is for Shondaland? “Grey’s” is a soap opera. The other two shows, no one has really understood a word of them. The acting is great, but they’re melodramas that are hard to explain.

It could be Shondaland’s biggest days are behind them. Maybe that’s why ABC-Disney didn’t pony up. For example, the Shondaland series “The Catch” — no one knew what that was about. Finally, it was put out of its misery. And there’s a legal drama called “For the People” coming to ABC next winter that seems unfocused.

IN any case, it’s a big deal for Netflix. Rhimes and Beers attract a lot of talent. For ABC it’s a blow because they are not good at doing hour long dramas, not even commercial ones (forget about Emmy level). Their dramas come and go. At least the phase of shows being like “Lost” has come to an end.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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