Shonda Rhimes Sells Soapy Conspiracy Thriller to ABC

2:58 PM PST 10/20/2011 by Lacey Rose
Shonda Rhimes

"The Circle" follows ten friends, adopted as children by a billionaire philanthropist, who begin to question their past when one of their own is murdered.

Prolific producer Shonda Rhimes has sold drama The Circle to ABC.

The hour-long project, which hails from ABC Studios, is billed as part soap, part conspiracy thriller. The drama follows ten friends, adopted as children by a billionaire philanthropist, who begin to question their past when one of their own is murdered.

Richard Robbins will write and executive produce the project, while Rhimes and her producing partner Betsy Beers serve as non-writing executive producers.

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The news marks Shondaland's fourth sale of the season.The Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice showrunner sold period luxury hotel drama Gilded Lillys to ABC with Gossip Girl scribe K.J. Steinberg attached in August. 

Last month, the network also picked up an untitled drama project from Rhimes protégé Jenna Bans (Off the Map) revolving around a young, idealistic and recently fired defense lawyer who struggles to start his own firm.

More recently, she sold Wildwood, which revolves around a wise-beyond-her-years teenager who poses as an adult in order to land a job at a bar on the Jersey Shore in Wildwood, N.J., to Fox. 

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose

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