Shonda Rimes made a move that will probably keep ABC execs up at night for weeks.
Netflix announced on Sunday that Shonda Rimes will be doing future productions for the streaming service, meaning that she would be moving her ‘Shondaland’ production company from ABC.
Rimes had huge success as a producer for ABC with her breakout hit “Grey’s Anatomy.” She followed up with “Scandal,” “Private Practice” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” helping create a female-friendly vibe that distinguished ABC from other networks.
So Netflix’s announcement late Sunday that Rhimes would be moving her Shondaland production company to the streaming service was a gut punch to ABC. The network has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars over the years in advertising revenue and foreign distribution fees from the sale of Rhimes’ shows.
ABC on Monday sought to contain the damage, noting it would not be losing “Grey’s Anatomy” and other shows that made Rhimes famous. The existing shows will remain on ABC.
“With the launch of a new season upon us, fans can rest assured that TGIT remains intact and will be as buzzed about as ever,” Channing Dungey, ABC’s entertainment president, said in a statement referencing the Thursday block.
ABC loses Rimes at an inopportune time. Its television networks have been struggling to contain costs at a time when viewers were already fleeing in droves for services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.com.
Rhimes, in a statement, said she decided to leave ABC for Netflix because the streaming service offered “unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach.”