Netflix expands creative deal with Shonda Rhimes
James R | On 10, Jul 2021
Netflix and prolific producer Shonda Rhimes are extending their creative content relationship, following the smash hit success of Bridgerton.
Inspired by the bestselling series of romance novels by Julia Quinn, Shondaland’s Bridgerton went on to smash Netflix records as it was watched by 82 Million member households around the world in its first 28 days. Bridgerton Season 2 is currently in production and set to launch in 2022. Netflix has already renewed the series for Seasons 3 and 4.
It was also recently announced that the “Bridgerton-verse” will expand with an all-new limited series based on the origins of Queen Charlotte. While the series will center on the rise of a young Queen Charlotte, it will also tell the stories of young Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury. Shonda Rhimes will write the series and serve as executive producer alongside Betsy Beers and Tom Verica. An official title and more details will be revealed at a later time.
Now, Netflix is going further and inking a new pact with Rhimes, her company Shondaland and her long-standing producing partner Betsy Beers. It gives Netflix and Shondaland Media the opportunity to exclusively produce, stream and distribute feature films as well potential gaming and virtual reality content. The pact currently includes a branding and merchandise deal for Shondaland Media content, which will now add live events and experiences.
As an integral piece of the newly expanded overall deal, Netflix is investing in and providing the financial and technical infrastructure to support Shondaland’s mission to create DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility) programs that can increase industry workplace representation for underrepresented groups both domestically and in the UK.
Other Shondaland Netflix projects include Inventing Anna, which was created by Rhimes and executive produced by Rhimes and Betsy Beers, set to release in 2022, starring Julia Garner, Anna Chlumsky, Katie Lowes, Laverne Cox and Alexis Floyd; and documentary Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker chronicling the legendary choreographer and director Debbie Allen, which premiered in November 2020.
Rhimes says: “When Ted 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. 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. The Shondaland team and I are thrilled and excited to be expanding our relationship with our content partners at Netflix.”