Shonda Rhimes’ big deal with Netflix just got even bigger. The two media entities revealed an expansion of their creative deal to include a variety of programming from Shondaland Media. In August 2017, VIBE reported the streaming giant scooped the legendary showrunner for a four-year deal. The partnership meant Rhimes would be leaving her then home at ABC Studios.
“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at the time. “Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best.”
Since then, Shondaland has delivered fan favorites to Netflix, including the hit series Bridgerton which broke Netflix viewership records. Deadline reported the period drama raked in a record 82 million households globally in the first 28 days, and ranked #1 overall in 83 countries.
Thank you for making Bridgerton our biggest series ever pic.twitter.com/Euac58hs61
— Netflix (@netflix) January 27, 2021
Bridgerton Season 2 is currently in production and set to launch in 2022 and Netflix has already renewed the series for Seasons 3 and 4, included in the expansion of the partnership. Additional announced projects include the upcoming series Inventing Anna which was created by Rhimes and executive produced by Rhimes and Betsy Beers, which is set to release in 2022.
Another key factor in the expansion between Shondaland Media and Netflix is the streaming company is investing in and providing the financial and technical infrastructure to support Shondaland’s mission to create DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility) programs that will increase industry workplace representation for underrepresented groups both domestically and in the UK.
“When Ted 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. 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,” Rhimes said in an official statement.
She continued, “the Shondaland team and I are thrilled and excited to be expanding our relationship with our content partners at Netflix.”
Through the deal, Shondaland Media will exclusively produce, stream and distribute feature films as well potential gaming and virtual reality content. There are additional opportunities with the inclusion of a branding and merchandise deal for Shondaland Media content, which will now add live events and experiences.