Forbes Asks: Is Shonda Rhimes ‘The Next Oprah?’

Just about everything Shonda Rhimes touches turns to gold. She practically sits on the throne of Thursday night television—TGIT! Her achievements as a producer have not gone unnoticed. They have Forbes begging the question, is Shondland ‘The Next Oprah?’

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She essentially has “her own economy” founded in “writing for women.” Her work dates back to her first directing credit on the short film Blossoms and Veils, starring Jada Pinkett-Smith, followed by a co-writing gig on HBO’s Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, featuring Halle Barry.

Rhimes began the rise of the Shondaland empire when she became the creator, executive producer and head writher of Grey’s Anatomy, which was followed by the Private Practice spinoff in 2007. Scandal debuted in 2011 and How to Get Away With Murder came along in 2013.

Oh, and her new show, The Catch, premieres tonight—no big.

According to Forbes, advertisers who cash in on Rhimes’s viewership spend anywhere from $146,113 to $217,546 for a 30-second slot.

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“Years from now, Rhimes may come to be seen as one of the trailblazers in the industry, indicator of a breakthrough in the perception of what black and minority screenwriters can accomplish. As it is, she’s confounded the expectations of people within the industry and outside it, casting her shows with an independence that reflects an allegiance to story and character, regardless of race,” said The Grio back in 2010.

Duh – way to call it.

Shonda explained her philosophy to “The thing I find scary and disturbing about television sometimes is that people think because you’re somebody of color you have to be referred to or defined by your race. It doesn’t really make sense because that’s not how I live my life, or how most people live their lives.”

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