When Shonda Rhimes brought “Grey’s Anatomy” to life in 2005, ABC was not ready for her willingness to show characters as real people in their most raw state of being. Rhimes recalled, “I literally remember when we started, them saying that no woman is going to watch a woman who is this ‘not nice’ and this sexually active and this competitive.” Well they were wrong. Shonda Rhimes now has four award winning TV series, “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Private Practice,” and “Scandal,” all starring fierce, intelligent, and sexual female leads.
Rhimes told The New York Times that she has always crafted her shows to fit within ABC’s brand, which was a key factor in her choice to leave ABC for the creative freedom in writing for Netflix. Netflix promised Rhimes a $150 million contract to start plus added incentives. It was well worth the money since Rhimes already has 8 new and very diverse shows in the works.
Untitled- Anna Delvey’s Grand Larceny
Soon after she signed with Netflix, Rhimes got to work, but felt a strong creative block. Nothing came to her until she saw an article in New York magazine about Anna Delvey, a master manipulator. Anna Delvey appeared to be unfathomably rich, living her life of luxury in New York City until the source of her wealth came into question. All of her wildly wealthy friends seemed to know a different story about her past until they realized she was living a life of lies. That is when she ended up in jail for grand larceny.
Once Rhimes discovered Anna Delvey’s story, a creative stream started flowing. She will continue her writing to promote feminism with a TV show based on “Reset: My Flight for Inclusion and Lasting Change,” a book by former executive, Ellen Pau. The book is Pau’s story of suing her former boss for sexism in the workplace at Kliener Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Rhimes has a reputation for showing that feminism in the workplace is fully functional and successful in each of her current shows. The hospital was never more stable than when Dr. Miranda Bailey was Chief of Surgery, the white hats are paralyzed without instruction from Olivia Pope, and no murderer can be saved without Annalise Keating. “Reset” will more than likely follow suit with this demand for equality.
Untitled- Bridgerton romance series
With the help of veteran in Shondaland, Chris Van Dusen, Rhimes will turn the Bridgerton romance novels by Julia Quinn into a new TV series. Quinn shared that she “ loves to dispel the myth that smart women don’t read (or write) romance,” and, “a woman should be or resemble: anything and authenticity.” With Rhimes’ and Quinn’s passion to clarify feminism and real womanhood, this show should fit well within the playground of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.”
It would not be a new collection of Shondaland TV shows without a hint of political corruption. That’s where “The Residence,” by Kate Anderson Brower comes in with a show about the drama behind the White House doors throughout United States history.
The Sunshine Scouts
Rhimes will create her first project with youth character with the “Sunshine Scouts,” a show with a group of defiant teenage girls facing an apocalyptic end while at summer camp. The girls must use their sunshine scout training to stay alive in this fallen world. Writer and director, Jill Alexander will take over production for this show.
Hot Chocolate Nutcracker
The director of “Scandal,” Oliver Bokelberg, will take on Rhimes vision for a documentary called “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.” The documentary will reimagine the drama behind bringing to life Debbie Allen’s Academy Award-winning ballet, The Nutcracker.
Pico & Sepulveda
In the most dramatic presidential election in the Shondaland show, “Scandal,” the fictional candidate Francisco Vargas became the first Latino president of the United States. Rhimes will continue her steps toward progressing Latino presence in American pop culture with her new show, “Pico & Sepulveda.” This series will take place in the 1840s Mexican territory of California. With the brutal Mexican-American war on their heals, the characters in this show will be smothered by President Polk’s greedy image of the “American Dream,” as their home will be ripped away by US invaders.
The Warmth of Other Suns
This show is based on Isabel Wilkerson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the Great Migration from 1916 to 1970. “The Warmth of Other Suns” will shed light on the torturous brutality of the Jim Crow South and the KKK that led millions of African Americans to the urban parts of Northern and Western United States. In Rhimes’ current shows, she has paved the way for African American actors in television while also bringing current racial oppression into the plot of her shows. By creating this show among the others in the famous Shondaland, Rhimes will take a leap for progress in America’s long-standing racial climate.
The New York Times wrote, “Ms. Rhimes said she had two principal goals for her time at Netflix. One is to come up with shows that are more expansive than her ABC fare. The other is to turn Shondaland into an enduring company that will live within Netflix in the same way that Marvel exists inside the Walt Disney Company.” With these 8 new ideas under her belt, Rhimes is on her way to becoming an immortal legend in American television.
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