It was almost year ago when Hollywood was shaken by the announcement that Shonda Rhimes was leaving ABC for a multi-year deal with Netflix. And she coming out with a whopping eight productions to start!
The new Shondaland projects include adaptations of books like Isabel Wilkerson’s epic “The Warmth of Other Suns” and a documentary that gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s award-winning reimagining of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker.
“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,” said Rhimes in a statement.
Rhimes changed the TV landscape last year when she decided to leave ABC Studios for a $300 million deal at Netflix.
Rhimes has boosted ABC’s viewership with hit shows Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and Grey’s Anatomy. The network even coined ‘’TGIT” to celebrate the Thursday night block of Rhimes’ successful shows.
In an exclusive interview with The New York Times about her Netflix plans, Rhimes laid out that she wanted to expand her storytelling chops beyond her work at ABC and continue to grow Shondaland into a company bigger than just herself.
“It would be really amazing to me at some point down the line — not now — if somebody said, ‘There was a Shonda for Shondaland?’” she said. “It needs to be bigger than me.”
The slate of eight Netflix series join returning ABC dramas Grey’s Anatomy, spinoff Station 19, How to Get Away With Murder and For the People on Shondaland’s roster.
Here is the full list and description of all eight projects:
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?
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.
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.
Pick & 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 presaged 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.
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.
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