Here Is Shonda Rhimes’ Game Plan For Her Shondaland Netflix Programming
Shonda Rhimes is making a splash as she steps into her newest television programming opportunity. Last August, the small screen behemoth—whose Shondaland favorites Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder have become Thursday evening staples—announced that she and Betsy Beers were making the big switch from ABC Studios to Netflix.
On Friday (July 20), both Netflix and Shondaland revealed a run-down of the eight series that will ultimately establish their identity on the media service provider. Some of the standout offerings include “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” a documentary about the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s reimagining of “The Nutcracker,” a series based on Isabel Wilkerson’s book The Warmth of Other Suns, which follows African-American migration from the Jim Crow South to the North, and a series adapted from a New York City life article on The Cut.
“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] and everyone at Netflix have been incredible partners in making that happen. This is Shondaland 2.0.”
Check out the full breakdown and synopses of the new series below.
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?
* Shonda Rhimes (EP) will create the series.
Untitled Bridgerton Project
Based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels, this smart 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 veteran 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 powerful 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.
Pico & 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 breathtaking 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 have acquired the rights to Ellen Pao’s groundbreaking 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 pre-saged the Time’s Up movement.
Netflix and Shondaland have acquired the rights to Kate Andersen Brower’s brilliant nonfiction book, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House, which offers a vividly accurate 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 darkly comedic half-hour 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.