THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
Rhimes has had a whirlwind year. While her freshman doctors-without-borders drama Off the Map fizzled, Rhimes had her Kerry Washington public relations political drama Scandal ordered to series at ABC (it will likely premiere early next year). "I feel like that was a big accomplishment, creating a new show that was entirely different from anything else that I'd done before," she says. "It was something that helped me grow as a writer."
Meanwhile, Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, in their eighth and fifth seasons, respectively, continue to be standout performers for ABC, with Rhimes, 41, noting that Practice's November intervention-themed episode was a powerful experience.
The Chicago native, who was the first black female showrunner in primetime, notes that there's never been a better moment for women to make further strides in the business and is "too busy to care if somebody else has a problem with whether or not I have a vagina. I feel like that's part of the equation: not giving a crap."
In line with that mentality, Rhimes and her Shondaland producing partner, Betsy Beers, went four-for-four this development season, selling projects outside of the female-driven fare they're best known for, including Wildwood, a teen drama set up at Fox. Three went to ABC: murder mystery The Circle, period hotel drama Gilded Lillys, which has Gossip Girl writer K.J. Steinberg attached, and an untitled drama.
Beyond work, the unmarried mother to an adopted daughter devotes herself to working with Planned Parenthood and the Writers Guild Foundation. "But of all the issues that are important to me," Rhimes says, "it's promoting adoption in this country," a theme featured prominently in this season of Grey's. She's also taken up "weird" activities in her downtime like boxing and Pilates, something she says, laughing, she finds "horrific but necessary."
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