Shonda Rhimes on her Netflix deal, upcoming shows: ‘We’re building communities’

Rhimes is on the latest cover of Time Magazine, in which she breaks down her journey in television, running Shondaland and more

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In a recent Time Magazine profile, television titan Shonda Rhimes opened up about her Netflix deal, the new season of Bridgerton, her upcoming series Inventing Anna and more.

It’s been years since Rhimes left ABC for a major deal with Netflix; while last year saw her release one of the biggest shows in the streamer’s history, this year is shaping up to be her biggest one yet.

This year will see the release of the second season of Bridgerton, which quickly became the second most-watched show on the streaming service, and launched stars like Regé-Jean Page into the stratosphere. She will also drop Inventing Anna, the first show she has created herself for Netflix, which follows the story of Anna Delvey, who scammed the world when she posed as a German heiress.

2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 24: Shonda Rhimes attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

In the profile, she recalls when her major hit for ABC and first television series, Grey’s Anatomy, was first picked up. The series became known, especially at the time of its release, for its diverse casting.

Rhimes explained, “Nobody said, ‘There are too many people of color on that show.'” Still, it took a long time for her to officially find out if it was picked up or not.

“I just don’t think they knew what they had,” she said.

Through her hit shows, Rhimes effectively created a successful archetype not only for ABC, but for television at large.

“There was a brand that I specifically created for ABC,” she shared. “It has some hallmarks, and one of them is fierce, incredibly successful career women. It was highly successful and highly financially viable for them.”

She continued, “I always used to joke, people turned 12 and discovered Grey’s Anatomy. That’s been happening for 18 years now. At this point, it’s sort of generational. We’re building communities, and those communities are having children, watching their shows together.”

Speaking of her latest series Bridgerton, which also boasts a diverse cast (especially compared to many period dramas that came before it) she explained, “It’s very obvious to me…then again, a show with a woman of color as leading lady is obvious to me as well. That Grey’s had a cast that looked like the world is very obvious to me. I don’t know why anybody else wasn’t making them.”

Bridgerton. (L to R) Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, Shelley Conn as Mary Sharma, Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma in episode 201 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2021

She also dives deep into the creation of Shondaland, which has grown from mini-studio to a complete multi-media landing ground, with podcasts, a digital site and more.

As for leading such a massive company, she explained, “I don’t want to sound sexist, but I never tried to lead like a man. I was a single mom with kids. The idea that I would lead any differently than my needs required never occurred to me.”

Check out the full profile with Time Magazine here.

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