Shonda Rhimes adds to Netflix deal with feature films, gaming

The TV mogul gets a boost to an already lucrative deal with the streamer

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This week it was announced that not only is Shonda Rhimes standing by Netflix but the mega-producer is also now expanding her deal with the streaming service to include both films and gaming.

According to reports, the Bridgerton executive producer has extended the multi-million dollar partnership she signed in 2017 that covers not just her, but also her production company Shondaland and her producing partner, Betsy Beers.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that the updated deal “will encompass such things as feature films, virtual reality content and gaming in addition to the numerous series Shondaland is already making for Netflix. The current deal includes a branding and merchandising deal for Shondaland Media content, while the expanded pact will also include live events and experiences.”

Shonda Rhimes
(Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Although the uber-successful showrunner is known for dominating the small screen, this move should come as no surprise given she actually started her career as a screenwriter for films such as Crossroads and The Princess Diaries 2Royal Engagement.

“When Ted [Sarandos] and I decided to break the traditional network TV business model to move Shondaland to Netflix, we were both taking a leap into the unknown,” said Rhimes in a statement Thursday. “Today, Shondaland at Netflix is creatively thriving, profitable as an asset and engaging audiences around the world with stories that fearlessly challenge viewers and keep them highly entertained all at once.”

“Ted, Bela and the entire team at Netflix have been tremendous partners during every step of the process, supporting my creative vision and showing a continued dedication to the innovation that has made Netflix such a powerhouse,” she continued. “The Shondaland team and I are thrilled and excited to be expanding our relationship with our content partners at Netflix.”

To her point, the two companies have already started laying the groundwork to turn her mega-hit Netflix series Bridgerton into an experiential event in the UK which will be set up in partnership with Secret Cinema in November.

As we previously reported, earlier this year, the streamer issued a statement announcing that the period drama was officially Netflix’s “biggest series ever” with 82M households streaming the buzz-worthy show.

Created by Chris Van Dusen, Bridgerton is the first show from the former ABC showrunner’s much-buzzed-about Netflix deal. Based on a series of romance novels by Julia Quinn, the show quickly proved to be a hit when it dropped last December, becoming the most-watched Netflix show in the U.S. in its first week.

Now, according to a recent statement from Netflix, Bridgerton is officially the biggest show they have ever released. 

Per Deadline, “Season 1 of Bridgerton was watched by a record 82M households around the world (partially or in its entirety.) That is a whopping 19M households higher than the four-week projection Netflix issued 10 days into the Shondaland series’ run (63M), at the time the streamer’s fifth-biggest launch in history.”

The record-breaking news came on the heels of the announcement that the show would return for a second season.

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