Netflix Signs Shonda Rhimes; The Streaming War Heats Up

Netflix gets a big win in its ongoing battle for streaming supremacy.
Disney Netflix
By  · Published on August 14th, 2017

Netflix gets a big win in its ongoing battle for streaming supremacy.

We should come up with a name for the newly exploding war between Disney and Netflix. A Song of Mice and Buffer? Sarandos’ Rebellion? The War of the Five Platforms? (This is what they get for dropping big news a few hours after Game of Thrones).

Last week, Disney struck first with an announcement that they’d be ending their Netflix deal and creating their own streaming service. Earlier this evening, Netflix sent out a release proclaiming a big win against Disney subsidiary ABC, as they’ve signed showrunner Shonda Rhimes and her Shondaland company (along with her longtime co-produce Betsy Beers) away from under the Disney umbrella.

Come to think of it, this will ultimately go down as The War Between Brands and Talent, as Netflix appears to be stocking up on A-list creative talent (Rhimes, Matt Groening, Bong Joon-ho, the list goes on…) while Disney continues to corner the market on pop culture brands like Star Wars, Marvel, ESPN, and Pixar. Rhimes is a major addition to a Netflix foundation that continues to look eerily like the ultimate TV network.

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix in a statement. “Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I’ve gotten the chance to know Shonda and she’s a true Netflixer at heart — she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”

“Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” said Rhimes. “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for — the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.

Our current shows will continue to thrive on ABC and Shondaland will be there every step of the way. I could not have asked for a better home to begin my career. I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people – especially our studio gladiator Patrick Moran and our most powerful and brilliant champion Channing Dungey.

Starting today, we are thrilled to begin creating new Shondaland stories with Netflix.  Everyone at Shondaland is honored to expand both our audience and our creative identity with Ted and the entire team at Netflix.”

Said Beers, “I am a huge fan of the talented team and amazing programming at Netflix.  The ability to create content for our new partners is an exciting challenge. I am grateful to everyone at ABC for their continued support and I look forward to beginning this next chapter at Netflix.”

Related Topics: , ,

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)