Shonda Rhimes, the creative force behind TV hits, “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” among others, made headlines when she moved her Shondaland production company from Disney/ABC TV to Netflix.
On July 20, Rhimes, business partner Betsy Beers and their team revealed eight shows that will soon debut globally on Netflix.
“I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell, where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement,” Rhimes said in a statement. “Ted [Sarandos] and Cindy [Holland, VP, original content] and everyone at Netflix have been incredible partners in making that happen.”
The projects include the following series (all titles are working titles):
Untitled Shonda Rhimes Project
Based on the New York Magazine article How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People by Jessica Pressler. Manhattan makes a new friend like no other. But is she the stuff American dreams are made of or is she New York’s biggest con woman? Is it a con if you enjoy being taken?
Rhimes (EP) will create the series.
Untitled Bridgerton Project
Based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels, this feminist take on Regency England romance unveils the glittering, wealthy, sexual, painful, funny and sometimes lonely lives of the women and men in London’s high society marriage mart as told through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.
“Scandal” executive Chris Van Dusen (EP) will adapt and showrun the series.
“The Warmth of Other Suns”
Based on Pulitzer-Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson’s award-winning book of the same name, this groundbreaking series tracks the decades-long migration of African-Americans fleeing the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in the North and the West between 1916 and 1970.
National Humanities Medal recipient, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and 2-time Drama Desk winning playwright Anna Deavere Smith (EP) is set to adapt.
“Pick & Sepulveda”
Set in the 1840s against the surreal and sensual backdrop of the then-Mexican state of California, the series tracks the end of an idyllic era there as American forces threaten brutality and war at the border to claim this land for its own.
Emmy-award writer Janet Leahy (EP) will create the series.
“Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change”
Netflix and Shondaland acquired the rights to Ellen Pao’s memoir detailing her life and career, including the lawsuit she brought against her former employer that sparked intense media scrutiny, shook Silicon Valley to its boys’ club core and presaged the Time’s Up movement.
Netflix and Shondaland acquired the rights to Kate Andersen Brower’s nonfiction book, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House, which offers a vivid insider’s account of White House residence staffers and the upstairs downstairs lives they share with the First Families at one of the most famous homes in history.
In this dark comedy series, an apocalyptic disaster spares a rag-tag group of teenage girls at sleepaway camp who must then summon their moxie and survival skills to weather the fallout and ensure all that remains of humanity abides by the Sunshine Scout Law.
Writer/actress Jill Alexander (Co-EP) will create the series.
“Hot Chocolate Nutcracker”
This documentary offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s award-winning reimagining of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker. This staged contemporization – with its inclusive cast of all ages and its blend of dance traditions – has further cemented Debbie Allen’s legacy as one of the greatest forces for good in dance.
Oliver Bokelberg (DP/director “Scandal”) will serve as director, cinematographer and producer.
“It’s been thrilling to begin this journey with Shonda, Betsy and their team and watch them embrace the full range of creative freedom possible at Netflix,” said Holland. “Infused with Shonda’s sensibility, the Shondaland slate is shaping up to be something truly special that we know will delight our members around the world.”