Shonda Rhimes Unveils Slate of Eight Netflix Series

Shonda Rhimes
Christopher Patey

Nearly a year after sending shock waves through the TV community with her move to Netlfix, Shonda Rhimes has unveiled the full slate of eight series she is working on for the streaming giant.

Besides the previously announced take on the New York Magazine story "How Anna Delvey Tricked New York's Party People," Rhimes (who will pen the Delvey drama) is working on seven additional series via her Shondaland production company, which she runs with longtime collaborator Betsy Beers. 

They are:

An untitled Bridgerton project, based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels, is a feminist take on Regency England romance, unveiling the glittering, wealthy, sexual, painful, funny and sometimes lonely lives of the women and men in London's high society marriage mart as told through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family. Scandal's Chris Van Dusen will adapt, executive produce and showrun the drama.

• The Warmth of Other Suns is based on the 2010 Pulitzer-winning nonfiction book by Isabel Wilkerson that explores the flight of African Americans from the Jim Crow South to the North and the West. Playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith, who stars in Rhimes' sophomore ABC drama For the People, will adapt the book and exec produce.

Pico & Sepulveda is a series set in Mexican California during the 1840s that takes its title from the well-known Los Angeles intersection of the same name. Emmy winner Janet Leahy will create and exec produce the series, which is set against the surreal and sensual backdrop of the then-Mexican state of California, and will track the end of an idyllic era there as American forces threaten brutality and war at the border to claim this breathtaking land for their own. 

Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change. Netflix and Shondaland have acquired the rights to Ellen Pao's groundbreaking memoir detailing her life and career, including the lawsuit she brought against her former employer that sparked intense media scrutiny, shook Silicon Valley to its boys club core and presaged the Time’s Up movement. Additional details, including a writer, were not immediately available.    

The Residence is based on the 2015 nonfiction book by Kate Andersen Brower about the private lives of U.S. presidents, their families and White House staff. The title puts Rhimes back into the political arena after wrapping seven seasons of ABC's D.C.-set soap Scandal in April. Netflix and Shondaland acquired the rights to the nonfiction book of the same name. Additional details, including a writer, were not immediately available.

Sunshine Scouts is a darkly comic, ironic and twisty show about foul-mouthed teenage girls who are trapped at the end of the world. Writer-director Jill Alexander created the series and also serves as a co-exec producer. The half-hour series is Shondaland's first comedy to get the green light following multiple pilot and script orders on broadcast. This was a longtime goal for Beers at Shondaland. The comedy is described as an apocalyptic disaster spares a ragtag group of teenage girls at sleepaway camp who must then summon their moxie and survival skills to weather the fallout and ensure all that remains of humanity abides by the Sunshine Scout Law.

Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is a docuseries that reunites Rhimes with Grey's Anatomy recurring player, exec producer and director Debbie Allen. The show is a reimagining of Allen's holiday ballet. The series offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s award-winning interpretation of the classic ballet The Nutcracker. Scandal director Oliver Bokelberg will serve as producer, cinematographer and helm the series.

"I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell, where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement,” Rhimes said Friday in a statement. “Ted [Sarandos] and Cindy [Holland] and everyone at Netflix have been incredible partners in making that happen. This is Shondaland 2.0.”

The slate comes a year after Rhimes changed the TV landscape when she departed longtime home ABC Studios for a $300 million deal at Netflix as part of the streamer's push to own its original programming. Rhimes' Grey's Anatomy and Scandal have both been big performers for Netflix. New episodes of ABC's Grey's Anatomy have seen a ratings spike thanks in part to new audiences finding the show on Netflix.

“From the world of Regency England all the way to present- day Manhattan, we at Shondaland have a wonderful opportunity to explore new worlds and tell these stories in many different ways,” Beers said. “We are fortunate to be working with such an inspiring group of talent, including our amazing creative team at Netflix. I could not be more thrilled!”

Added Netflix vp originals Holland: “It’s been thrilling to begin this journey with Shonda, Betsy and their team and watch them embrace the full range of creative freedom possible at Netflix. Infused with Shonda’s sensibility, the Shondaland slate is shaping up to be something truly special that we know will delight our members around the world.”

The slate of eight Netflix series joins returning ABC dramas Grey's Anatomy, spinoff Station 19, How to Get Away With Murder and For the People on Shondaland's roster.