Netflix Extends Relationship With Shonda Rhimes

Netflix has extended its relationship with writer/producer Shonda Rhimes.

The pact expands the current deal with Rhimes, her company Shondaland as well as her long-standing producing partner Betsy Beers. The newly expanded partnership will give Netflix and Shondaland Media the opportunity to exclusively produce, stream and distribute feature films as well as potential gaming and virtual reality content. The pact currently includes a branding and merchandise deal for Shondaland Media content, which will now add live events and experiences.

Under the new deal, Netflix is also investing in and providing the financial and technical infrastructure to support Shondaland’s mission to create DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility) programs that can increase industry workplace representation for underrepresented groups both domestically and in the United Kingdom.

Inspired by the best-selling series of romance novels by Julia Quinn, Shondaland’s “Bridgerton” was watched by 82 Million member households around the world in its first 28 days on Netflix. “Bridgerton” season two is currently in production and set to launch in 2022.  Netflix has already renewed the series for seasons three and four.

It was also recently announced that the “Bridgerton-verse” will expand with an all-new limited series based on the origins of Queen Charlotte. While the series will center on the rise of a young Queen Charlotte, it will also tell the stories of young Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury. Shonda Rhimes will write the series and serve as executive producer alongside Betsy Beers and Tom Verica.

The upcoming series “Inventing Anna,” which was created by Rhimes and executive produced by Rhimes and Betsy Beers, is set to bow in 2022. The Shondaland limited series stars Julia Garner, Anna Chlumsky, Katie Lowes, Laverne Cox and Alexis Floyd. David Frankel directs the first episode.

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Shondaland Media’s Netflix documentary Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker chronicling the legendary choreographer ​and director ​Debbie Allen premiered on Netflix in November 2020.

“When Ted [Sarandos] and I decided to break the traditional network TV business model to move Shondaland to Netflix, we were both taking a leap into the unknown,” Rhimes said in a statement. “Today, Shondaland at Netflix is creatively thriving, profitable as an asset and engaging audiences around the world with stories that fearlessly challenge viewers and keep them highly entertained all at once. Ted, Bela [Bajaria] and the entire team at Netflix have been tremendous partners during every step of the process, supporting my creative vision and showing a continued dedication to the innovation that has made Netflix such a powerhouse. The Shondaland team and I are thrilled and excited to be expanding our relationship with our content partners at Netflix.”

“Shonda makes shows that get the world talking, and we’ve seen the power of her creative vision to translate in any language,” Bajaria said in a statement. “Shonda’s a brilliant businesswoman and a terrific partner and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with her for years to come. On a personal note, I’m especially invested in the mentorship and pipeline programs we will support, as I’ve seen firsthand how the power of mentorship can transform careers and lives — and I’m excited by the possibility of what that can look like in Shonda’s hands.”

Netflix Extends Original Hit Series ‘Bridgerton’ for Seasons 3 & 4

Netflix April 13 announced it has renewed original series “Bridgerton” for a third and fourth season. Executive producer Shonda Rhimes’ contemporary take on Julia Quinn’s 19th Century Regency London society novels is currently filming season two without British co-star Regé-Jean Page, whose character, the Duke of Hastings, does not return.

The series has been a hit since launching on Christmas Day, generating more than 63 million views in its first 28 days. Netflix counts a view after 120 seconds of continuous streaming.

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“‘Bridgerton’ swept us off our feet,” Bela Bajaria, VP of global TV at Netflix, said in a statement. “The creative team, led by Shonda, knew the material and delivered a beautiful, emotional, romantic drama for our members. They have some exciting plans for the future, and we think audiences will continue to swoon for this show. We’re planning to be in the ‘Bridgerton’ business for a long time to come.”

Rimes said the two-season pickup was a “strong vote of confidence” in her Shondaland production team, which includes Betsy Beers and Chris Van Dusen.

“Betsy and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue bringing the world of ‘Bridgerton’ to a worldwide audience,” Rimes said.

Netflix Renews ‘Bridgerton’

Netflix has renewed “Bridgerton” for a second season.

The romance series, which hit screens on Christmas, is produced by Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and is based on Julia Quinn’s best-sellers. It follows eight close-knit siblings of the Bridgerton family looking for love and happiness in London high society.

The second season will premiere in spring of 2021, Netflix announced.

On Jan. 4, shortly after its premiere, Netflix reported “Bridgerton” was on track to be streamed by 63 million subscriber homes in the 28 days — the fifth-highest tally in the SVOD pioneer’s history. Netflix reported the series was ranked No. 1 across 76 countries worldwide.

The series was also the top binge on the TV Time charts for the week ended Jan. 17.

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Netflix Says Original Series ‘Bridgerton’ Streamed by 63 Million Homes, Fifth-Highest in Service’s History

Netflix reported “Bridgerton,” the first original series from “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes, is on track to be streamed by 63 million subscriber homes in the 28 days following its Dec. 25 release — the fifth-highest tally in the SVOD pioneer’s history. Netflix said the proprietary spin on author Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels was ranked No. 1 across 76 countries worldwide.

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Netflix, which is typically coy about its subscriber data, also said the month of December and the Dec. 25-31 holiday period recorded the highest-ever streaming hours and average view hours per subscriber in its history. It should be noted that Netflix tabulates a viewer after two minutes of content streaming.

The streamer also disclosed that Robert Rodriguez’s movie, We Can Be Heroes, is expected to stream in 44 million subscriber homes within 28 days of its Christmas Day release. Notably missing: George Clooney’s sci-fi space thriller The Midnight Sky, which topped Netflix domestic Top 10 ranking for five days following its Christmas Day bow.

We Can Be Heroes


Hulu Acquires Rights to ‘Scandal’

Hulu has acquired the rights to the ABC series “Scandal,” and all seven seasons of the drama will begin streaming exclusively on the service May 20.

The series was created by Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice”). Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder”), Mark Fish, Mark Wilding and Tom Verica are executive producers.

“Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant, Jeff Perry as Cyrus, Bellamy Young as First Lady Mellie Grant, Joshua Malina as David Rosen, Scott Foley as Jake Ballard, Portia De Rossi as Elizabeth North and Cornelius Smith Jr. as Marcus Walker.

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The Washington D.C.-set drama centers on political fixer Pope and her team of associates who sacrifice their time, and often their morals, to “handle” unimaginable crises affecting the nation’s elite. Throughout six seasons, “Scandal” explores political culture, gender disparities, sexual politics and race in America.

Shonda Rhimes Reveals First Slate of Original Netflix Shows

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.

“The Residence”

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.

“Sunshine Scouts”

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.”