Shonda Rhimes Already Knows What You're Going to Watch Next

Television's most influential creator is poised to reshape the streaming landscape, just like she did with prime time TV

1/16/2022 2:33:00 AM

If one thing has become clear about shondarhimes, it’s that she has little use for conventional wisdom. And why should she, when her own instincts have so often yielded superior results?

Television's most influential creator is poised to reshape the streaming landscape, just like she did with prime time TV

andStill Star-Crossed,in a 2014 memoir, and her company declared bankruptcy just two years later, it was open season on girl power for anticapitalists on the left and misogynists on the right. Soon other female business leaders who’d come up espousing feminist values were losing control amid reports that they treated their employees poorly. By the end of the 2010s, the Shondaland brand had begun to feel a bit anachronistic. So too did network TV, as the streaming wars heated up and the young social-media-savvy audiences that fueled Shondaland’s rise decamped for Netflix and YouTube.

Read more: TIME »

Dentistry - BBC News

All the latest news about Dentistry from the BBC Read more >>

shondarhimes I received my profit of $35,550 without delay of payment and any attachment of fee, now I can start trusting you victor_griffin_ because you made me believe you're legit and trustworthy, honestly I couldn't believe my eyes when I got an alert of my profit return. shondarhimes It all started with a word to try something new, my first payment of $6,500 came after 3 days with the investment of $500 and since then I have received countless payments, he is worthy of being recommended victor_griffin_

shondarhimes shondarhimes I received my profit of $35,550 without delay of payment and any attachment of fee, now I can start trusting you victor_griffin_ because you made me believe you're legit and trustworthy, honestly I couldn't believe my eyes when I got an alert of my profit return. shondarhimes Couple of (5) months trading with rookiexbtrade are always profitable, I earn good return trading Bitcoin with Adriel and make huge profit, i withdraw my profit and convert to cash in the bank, DM him now and start earning massively.

These Are The Call Centre Secrets You *Really* Need To KnowMemo: if you're rude to us while you're on hold, we can hear you.

The 25 hottest gigs to book now, from Billie Eilish to Sam FenderFrom arena heavyweights to the Next Big Things, these are the dates for your gig-going diary Couple of (5) months trading with rookiexbtrade are always profitable, I earn good return trading Bitcoin with Adriel and make huge profit, i withdraw my profit and convert to cash in the bank, DM him now and start earning massively. RoundhouseLDN

Ed Sheeran applies to build crypt under floor of Suffolk estate chapelSinger-songwriter has already won council approval to construct ‘private place for prayer’

The Inbetweeners Star James Buckley Says 'There's Not Enough Money In The World' For Return“I don’t want to go near it anymore, not because I don’t think I would have an amazing time doing it, because I know I would...'

WATCH: Mayor Wu Speaks as Boston's New Vaccine Mandate Takes EffectBoston Mayor Michelle Wu is addressing the media on Saturday to discuss how the city’s B Together indoor vaccine mandate will help slow the spread of COVID-19. The new vaccine mandate went into effect Saturday, and Wu was scheduled to speak about it from the Whittier Street Health Center at 12:30 p.m. The initiative covers indoor spaces like restaurants, gyms… Unreal what is going on If someone isn't fully vaccinated and they want to go to dinner.... can't they just jump on the T and go to a city that isn't following this? Thanks for pushing people into neighboring towns... seems like a great thing to do.

Funding cut threat must sharpen ECB’s thinking with finances already tight | Andy BullAs English cricket grapples with racism and structural problems, its accounts do not make good reading I was referred to this platform by a friend online. I thought it was a scam company ... but I was moved to try and here I earned ... I just want to thank you_also get contact with William_Eddiy he is a good person,🙏🏻🙏🏻.

s cable-news tycoon in Notorious. Shondaland’s own output grew redundant; the downside to zooming through plot points at five times the speed of most other shows is that all the bed-hopping and betrayal can become too predictable after a few seasons. Procedurals like The Catch and For the People served watered-down Rhimes characters. In 2017, Shondaland’s first foray into period drama, Heather Mitchell’s Romeo and Juliet Still Star-Crossed, was canceled after a single season. Meanwhile, the culture at large was starting to question the wisdom of celebrating wealthy, powerful, assertive women just for being wealthy, powerful and assertive. When Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso popularized the term girlboss in a 2014 memoir, and her company declared bankruptcy just two years later, it was open season on girl power for anticapitalists on the left and misogynists on the right. Soon other female business leaders who’d come up espousing feminist values were losing control amid reports that they treated their employees poorly. By the end of the 2010s, the Shondaland brand had begun to feel a bit anachronistic. So too did network TV, as the streaming wars heated up and the young social-media-savvy audiences that fueled Shondaland’s rise decamped for Netflix and YouTube. Rhimes has little patience for a backlash to pop feminism that she views as just more misogyny. “I think the girlboss archetype is bullsh-t that men have created to find another way to make women sound bad,” she tells me, more exasperated than defensive. The word girlboss, as Rhimes sees it, is “a nice catchphrase to grab a bunch of women into one group and say, ‘This is what women are doing right now.’ Nobody ever says, ‘This is what men are doing right now.’” Such flattening of female identity doesn’t sit right with a woman who’s spent her career crafting unique female characters—who come off as aspirational, in large part, because they rise above sexist assumptions. Which is not to say Rhimes believes that the way a leader treats her employees is irrelevant so long as she is a woman. Over the years, Shondaland has grown from a vehicle for Rhimes’ own creations to a platform to also shepherd other creators’ work to a multimedia force; Rhimes essentially runs a mini-studio under the Netflix banner, a digital publisher since the launch of Shondaland.com in 2017 and a podcast network since Shondaland Audio was announced in 2019. During that rise from showrunning phenom to mogul, she has put quite a bit of effort into creating a workplace that reflects her own feminist ideals. “In the span of a year we went from nine employees to 50. There are a lot of things that go into running a company, in terms of culture,” Rhimes says. That has meant building out offerings aimed at fans and extending relationships with cast members, through Shondaland.com articles on politics and clothes and podcasts, produced in collaboration with iHeartMedia, by stars such as Inventing Anna ’s Laverne Cox. In perhaps its most ambitious project to date, Shondaland Audio has optioned the Washington Post story “Indifferent Justice”—about a serial killer whose dozens of murders went unsolved for decades because he preyed on marginalized, often Black, women—in partnership with Surviving R. Kelly creator dream hampton. And as Rhimes herself has become a household name, part of that work involves aligning the company’s identity with what she calls “brand Shonda,” which leveraged Year of Yes into a deal that made the creator a face of Peloton in 2021. Rhimes and Beers have also taken responsibility for creating a work environment that takes employees’ needs into account. “I don’t want to sound sexist, but I never tried to lead like a man,” Rhimes says. “I was a single mom with kids. The idea that I would lead any differently than my needs required never occurred to me.” There is, for instance, a playroom at the offices. Katie Lowes, an Anna cast member who played Quinn Perkins on Scandal and now hosts Shondaland Audio parenting podcast Katie’s Crib, says that when she was pregnant and shooting Scandal, “I had a PA who would get me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I had cravings.” The way Rhimes describes her approach to management could be read, by one familiar with the frustrations that catalyzed her departure from Disney-owned ABC, as a rejoinder to bosses who undervalue employees. A buzzy 2020 Hollywood Reporter profile included the allegation that she moved to Netflix after a “high-ranking executive” at the company replied to her request, amid contract negotiations, for an extra Disneyland pass by demanding, “Don’t you have enough?” Her frequent collaborators cite supportive, detail-oriented staffers and an atmosphere of cooperation over competition as the reason why they return to her sets. “It is a chaos-free environment,” says Anna Deavere Smith, the actor, playwright and academic who appeared in For the People and is now developing an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns for Shondaland. Smith recalls, “I had a question about hair early on in For the People. I was nervous to raise it,” because Black hair has so often been a third-rail topic. But “all of a sudden, I’m in a meeting with the head of hair and Betsy and the director. That’s never happened before in my career.” Rhimes, second from right, with cast and crew on the set of Grey’s Anatomy during its first season in 2005. Craig Sjodin—Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images Unlike writing, helming Shondaland as a manager and mentor didn’t come naturally at first. Though Rhimes enjoys fostering a happy workplace, she doesn’t necessarily enjoy management tasks. But as with everything, she was determined to excel. That has entailed becoming conscious of the reality that “leadership style is the thing that trickles down.” If, say, she wants employees to log off outside work hours—and she does—then she has to resist sending late-night Slack DMs that they might feel pressure to address. For Rhimes, adhering to the boundaries she sets for her employees and offering them the same flexibility and independence she enjoys simply comes down to practicing what she preaches. “I wouldn’t want a workplace that didn’t feel equitable for me,” she says, “so why would I want a workplace that didn’t feel equitable for anybody else?” If this second act of Rhimes’ TV career has expanded her responsibilities and influence, it has also expanded her palette as a writer and producer. No longer tethered to the network procedural template, she has at Netflix offered up new kinds of stories and heroines while continuing to satisfy fans’ demand for fast-paced, suspense-packed shows that center on fascinating women. Adapted from Julia Quinn’s period romance novels, Bridgerton, which dominated social media for weeks following its December 2020 premiere, displayed a refreshing frankness about sex in all its hot, hilarious and confusing glory. Rhimes worked closely on the inaugural season with Chris Van Dusen, a first-time creator but longtime member of the Shondaland family. The 19th century English setting ensured that the characters would include none of the “incredibly successful career women” who were once a fixture of Shondaland. Instead, early episodes track the machinations of plucky debutante Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), who falls for a dreamy duke played by Regé-Jean Page. Like the books, each season will focus on the love life of one of eight Bridgerton kids. Read more: Netflix’s Bridgerton Is Fun, Luxe and Wildly Uneven Van Dusen and Rhimes casually (and a bit confusingly) tweaked history in order to cast plenty of BIPOC actors as aristocrats, including the queen. Quietly radical though its reimagining of British period drama is, the show’s nonchalance about race also reflects Rhimes’ career-long conviction that identity markers need not be central to character—a sensibility that separates her work from that of many millennial creators of color. Lushly produced, with swooning romance, sumptuous costumes and elaborate balls, Bridgerton is the kind of show that seems like it should’ve been a no-brainer in a post– Downton Abbey world but that no one thought to make before Rhimes read Quinn. Rhimes seems equally baffled. “It’s very obvious to me,” she says. “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.” The appeal of the first show that credits Rhimes as creator since Scandal, also seems obvious for a storyteller who specializes in complicated women. Based on Jessica Pressler’s 2018 New York feature, it toggles between two quintessentially New York worlds: media and high society. Anna Delvey (Julia Garner, doing the oddest vaguely European accent that has ever actually worked), a 26-year-old Russian-born scammer posing as a German heiress, faces grand-larceny charges in connection with shady fundraising for an arts center. In pursuit of Anna is Pressler surrogate Vivian Kent (Anna Chlumsky), a disgraced, pregnant journalist who’s desperate to redeem herself by getting to the bottom of the Delvey deception. The project also requires some scheming on Vivian’s part, because Anna isn’t sure she wants to talk. Upon reading Pressler’s story, Rhimes was immediately intrigued by Delvey’s chameleonic nature. “She was such a complex, interesting, unknowable person,” the creator says. “If she had been a man, would she have gotten in so much trouble? Would people have even been as fascinated by her? If Anna Delvey had been what is typically called a hot chick, would people have been so outraged?” Shondaland newcomer Julia Garner, left, stars alongside Rhimes vet Kate Burton in Inventing Anna Netflix I assume the woman who created Olivia Pope is aware of one of the oldest PR tricks in the book: answer the question you wish they had asked. But Rhimes doesn’t play that game. If I pose a question whose premise doesn’t sit right, she tilts her head, bouncy curls spilling over one shoulder of her turtleneck—perplexed but not unkind—and takes a moment to think before explaining why. So when I ask why she thinks her shows tend to become era-defining sensations, she demurs. “I don’t make shows and wonder, Is this going to be part of the cultural zeitgeist?” she says. She’s not moving on from heroes who might be read as girlbosses to messier or more lighthearted protagonists because the discourse has turned against them. But the best popular artists channel the mood of the culture intuitively, and Shondaland’s first two Netflix series feel right on time—albeit in completely different ways. Inventing Anna might oversell Delvey’s Robin Hood qualities. But in its own glossy uptempo way, it is as critical of the super-rich as Succession or The White Lotus. “You understand why someone like Anna would do what she did,” Rhimes says. “Because we press everyone’s nose to the glass of a different kind of life, and then we tell them they can’t have it.” The show will emerge into a post-Trump cultural conversation where scammers occupy an almost aspirational place in pop culture; gall, guts and ingenuity—often met with grudging admiration, if not unconditional praise. In conversation and in her work, Rhimes demonstrates an abiding aversion to hypocrisy, and so it bothers her that Delvey served almost two years while certain Presidents and Wall Street bankers walked free. “People were outraged by her arrogance, her use of social media to create a frenzy around herself—all things that we applaud in many a person right now,” Rhimes says. Meanwhile, she has put her convictions, antithetical to those of her latest protagonist, into action in the political sphere, including in a divisive 2016 election ad for Hillary Clinton that found Shondaland actors connecting their characters’ strength to the nominee’s. Rhimes has sat on the boards of Time’s Up and Planned Parenthood. Anna Deavere Smith, who spent time with her on a planning committee for Barack Obama’s presidential library, observes, “She takes the world around her seriously, even as she is doing entertainment. And it will be in American history the way that things politicians do have been in American history.” Yet Rhimes insists that her shows are not intended as political statements: “I don’t like to be preached at, and I’m not interested in preaching.” As important as she feels it is, particularly as Roe v. Wade hangs in the balance, that viewers get to see beloved women, including Olivia Pope and Cristina Yang, terminate unwanted pregnancies without shame, her loyalty as a writer is to story and character. In fact, with politics and the pandemic leading so many into despair, she has grown weary of the dark tone endemic to a certain kind of prestige drama. Hence the progression from Scandal ’s sinister D.C. (Rhimes wrapped up that Obama-era show “when it felt like the world had caught up to the stories we were telling”) to the fantasy that is Bridgerton, which brought comfort to the winter of a COVID-stricken world’s discontent. The show—whose second season, debuting March 25, will center on Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey)—is slated to become a franchise as Rhimes pens a spin-off about breakout character Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel), based on a real British queen who may have had African ancestors. Other ambitious projects Shondaland and Netflix announced early in the partnership are moving forward, from the Warmth of Other Suns deal with Smith to an adaptation of Silicon Valley gender-equity activist Ellen Pao’s memoir Reset. But more of the escapism Rhimes says she craves these days could be on tap in the form of VR and video games, both of which are cited as mediums for development in her Netflix contract. These technologies simply offer more space for doing what she loves: telling stories. She is still awed every time she sees the words she types realized in physical spaces crafted by artisans and populated by actors, even now that she understands how the magic of TV is made, better than just about anyone. “She also understands what it takes to make that much television: What does that look like in PR and marketing?” says Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s head of global TV. Amid all that stress, Bajaria says, “She’s done a beautiful job never losing the quality of writing.” When you’ve been in the game as long as she has, adapting to tectonic shifts in the medium and industry she’s built her career around, it has to come back to those basic building blocks. “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.” At home, in the office, or wherever it is that life as we recognize it actually takes place. — With reporting by Julia Zorthian Correction, Jan. 5 The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Ellen Pompeo’s podcast is produced by Shondaland. It is produced by Cadence13. More Must-Read Stories From TIME These