After an extensive negotiation process, ABC announced that it inked a deal with Scandal showrunner Shonda Rhimes to keep her at the studio through May 2018. The “megadeal” is rumored to be valued at 8-figures, making Rhimes one of the most bankable women in TV.
The news of Rhimes’ blockbuster deal also coincides with ABC’s announcement that it is adding yet another Shondaland production to its Thursday night lineup.
In addition to Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, Rhimes’ legal drama, How to Get Away With Murder starring Viola Davis will run on the coveted night.
“[Rhimes] is one of the greatest voices on television,” ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee said in a conference call about the network’s decision to turn Thursday night into “Shonda night.” Lee said the network plans to piggyback off of Scandal to “drive into and lead out to How to Get Away with Murder,” and hopefully deliver another hit for the network.
In addition to her shows, Rhimes is also taking her talents back to the big screen. Rhimes, who also penned Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and The Princess Diaries 2, is currently writing a screenplay about female journalists called War Correspondents for Sony’s Columbia Pictures.
With Rhimes churning out shows, and other Black actors like Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson in ABC’s Black-ish; Nia Long in WEtv’s The Divide; Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in Fox’s drama Empire; and Alfre Woodard in NBC’s State of Affairs returning to the small screen this fall, it looks audiences will have quite a lot of quality TV to keep them entertained.
Take a look at a sneak peek at Rhimes’ new drama, How to Get Away With Murder: