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.
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.”