Netflix wins ‘Scandal’ creator Rhimes in blow to Disney, ABC

Netflix has lured Shonda Rhimes, the well-regarded creator of TV series “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” from ABC. (Shutterstock)

Netflix has lured Shonda Rhimes, the well-regarded creator of TV series “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” from ABC - announcing its scoop just days after ABC owner Disney laid out plans to pull programming from Netflix.

Netflix said Rhimes’ Shondaland production company is moving to Netflix for a multi-year deal. New ideas and projects from Rhimes and her producing partner, Betsy Beers, will be available on the streaming service.

But her existing, well-known shows - “Grey’s Anatomy,” ‘‘Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” - will remain on the network. Upcoming Shondaland projects already in the works, like the drama “For the People” and a “Grey’s” spinoff, will also still stay with ABC. Rhimes has had exclusive deals with ABC Studios for nearly 15 years.

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said “fans can rest assured” that the network’s Thursday night lineup of Rhimes-produced shows “remains intact and will be as buzzed about as ever.” Rhimes’ shows have been among ABC’s top-rated series.

“I’m proud to have given a home to what have become some of the most celebrated and talked about shows on television,” Dungey said in an emailed statement.

Financial terms of the Netflix deal weren’t disclosed, nor were details on how long Rhimes and her company will produce series for Netflix.

The announcement late Sunday came just days after Disney said it was creating a new streaming service of its own for kids and launching an online-subscription version of ESPN.

Disney said it will pull Disney and Pixar movies and shows from Netflix for the new service aimed at kids, expected to launch in 2019. ABC shows won’t be included, but Disney has hinted that it could shift more content to this new model. Disney is also launching an ESPN streaming service, without pro football and basketball, early next year. It has said it might also sell the full ESPN channel directly to viewers online if viewership disintegrates; currently, a cable or satellite subscription is required.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:01 - GMT 11:01
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