10:09am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Kerry Washington Signs Overall Deal With ABC Studios
Scandal star Kerry Washington is adding development to her résumé.
The actress has signed a two-year overall deal with ABC Studios, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Under the pact, the actress and her newly launched Simpson Street banner will develop broadcast, cable and streaming projects for ABC Studios and its cable arm, ABC Signature.
The first deal under the pact was HBO's Anita Hill telepic, which hailed from ABC Signature.
As part of the deal, Washington has tapped Sharla Sumpter Bridgett as development executive and her producing partner at Simpson Street. The hire marks a reunion for Washington and Bridgett — they previously teamed up on DreamWorks' movie A Thousand Words.
“I believe strongly in the importance of having a seat at the table, which makes starting this production company thrilling for me,” Washington said in a statement. “It’s an honor to be at a point in my career when I can help generate projects that are exciting, necessary and truly reflect the world around us. I’m grateful to be on this journey with ABC, a network that remains unparalleled in its commitment to inclusive storytelling.”
For Washington, the producing deal comes as the Scandal lead became the first black woman in nearly 40 years to headline a broadcast network drama when the Shonda Rhimes series premiered back in 2012.
Washington joins fellow Shondaland stars Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy) and Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) with overall deals with the studio.