Though it may be purely coincidental, Netflix has signed TV producer Shonda Rhimes away from ABC shortly after Disney announced it would be pulling its animated films from Netflix.
Rhimes, the writer and producer responsible for ABC hits including “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” along with her partner Betsy Beers, has signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce new series and other projects.
"Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” said Rhimes in a statement. “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for -- the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.”
Shondaland clarified that its current ABC shows would remain in place on the broadcast network and that the production company would continue to support those series.
The move from Netflix follows last week’s announcement from Disney that the company plans to launch its own Disney-branded streaming service and would therefore be ending its distribution deal with Netflix for its live-action and animated films in 2019.
The deal with Shondaland comes less than a week after Netflix announced its first acquisition in a deal for comics publisher Millarworld. Millarworld and founder Mark Millar, who is responsible for titles including “Kingsman” and “Kick-Ass,” will focus on creating films, series and kids’ shows.