Shonda RhimesLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 6/11/18 at 9:19PM EDT
How Netflix tries to prevent its original shows from getting lost in its avalanche of content
“These myths that the competition puts out there, and the media fuels, are absurd," says Netflix's vice president of product Todd Yellin. He says Netflix shows get more viewership than if they existed on another platform. Nevertheless, Netflix is investing $2 billion a year to promote its new series. Yellin also points to Netflix's fabled recommendation engine that brings viewers to new content. "We are able to unlock audiences for titles that you wouldn’t expect," he says. "That argument applies as much to a big Shonda (Rhimes) or Ryan (Murphy) show as it applies to an indie film or documentary we’re also putting up on the service.”
Posted Friday 6/08/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Shonda Rhimes sets her first Netflix series based on viral New York City socialite scammer Anna Delvey
Shondaland and Netflix have picked up the rights to the May 28 viral New York Magazine article "How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People" by Jessica Pressler about Anna Delvey, who scammed her way into becoming an "it" girl in New York City's social scene and conned people into funding her lavish lifestyle. According to Deadline's Nellie Andreeva, "since coming out on May 28, Pressler’s story has become an instant hot commodity, with about a dozen producers pursuing it for a screen adaptation, both in TV and features. I hear that Netflix stepped up in a big way, and Rhimes’ commitment to do the adaptation as her first series for the streaming platform further tipped the scales." This is Rhimes' first project under her blockbuster Netflix deal.
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 2:14PM EDT
Roseanne executive producer recalls the "shock" of learning of cancelation on the first day working on Season 2
Dave Caplan says "there was a lot of bittersweet hellos — and a couple hours later, a lot of very difficult goodbyes." He says the writing staff first learned about the cancelation via the media. "Everybody is still in shock at how quickly this all went down," he says. "It's unfortunate because the writers did pass on other jobs to take this job and nobody really knows yet what kind of compensation they're going to get. Everybody is a little bit on edge about how it's going to turn out. But we all know it's a wasted opportunity to write more episodes."
- ABC president apologizes to Roseanne's now-unemployed staff: "We're so sorry they were swept up in all of this and we give thanks to their remarkable talents, wish them well and hope to find another way to work together down the road."
- Roseanne Barr tweets "I’m not a racist. I never was & I never will be" before retweeting an anti-Valerie Jarrett Wikileaks document dump
- Dictionary searches for "racist" have skyrocketed in the past 24 hours
- Ambien maker responds to Roseanne's Ambien defense: "racism is not a known side effect"
- Mindy Kaling offers to "write things" for Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman
- Lena Dunham responds to Kaling's tweet, offering to do a spinoff "starring Darlene’s cool kids"
- Whoopi Goldberg slams Roseanne for retweeting a fake anti-Trump meme about her
- From Jackie to Darlene to Jackie and Darlene: Five ways Roseanne could return without Roseanne Barr
- Jimmy Kimmel imagines a Roseanne-less Roseanne show that focuses on Dan Conner
- Why Roseanne can't carry on without Roseanne Barr: She'll undermine the show with her tweeting
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus responds to Roseanne with an Instagram picture with "my pal" Valerie Jarrett
- Shonda Rhimes blasts Roseanne's Ambien defense, tells her to "#ownyouractions"
- Bill Maher -- who also was canceled by ABC amid controversy -- gets caught in the Roseanne cancelation crossfire
Posted Tuesday 5/29/18 at 1:56PM EDT
ABC cancels Roseanne after Roseanne Barr's racist tweet
"Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement following the furor over Barr comparing former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett to an ape in a tweet this morning. Barr apologized soon after and vowed to quit Twitter. This is the first time ABC has taken action in response to Barr's controversial tweets. ABC's cancelation came less than two hours after consulting producer Wanda Sykes quit the show. This isn't the first time Barr has compared a black Obama administration official to an ape. In 2013, she tweeted that Susan Rice "is a man with big swinging ape balls." A half hour before ABC announced its cancelation, Sara Gilbert reacted to her TV mom's racist tweet: "Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least. This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member."
- Disney CEO Bob Iger praised the cancelation: "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing"
- Emma Kenney was planning to quit the show after Roseanne's tweet: "I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed. The racist and distasteful comments from Roseanne are inexcusable... As I called my manager to quit working on Roseanne, I found out the show got cancelled. I feel so empowered by @iamwandasykes , Channing Dungey and those at ABC standing up against abuse of power and lack of values. Bullies do not win. Ever."
- Shonda Rhimes tweeted praise for ABC's decision: "Thank you, Channing...The terrible part is all of the talented innocent people who worked on that show now suffer because of this. #notjustice...But honestly she got what she deserved. As I tell my 4 year old, one makes a choice with one’s actions. Roseanne made a choice. A racist one. ABC made a choice. A human one."
- Showrunner Bruce Helford responds to cancelation: "On behalf of all the writers and producers, we worked incredibly hard to create an amazing show. I was personally horrified and saddened by the comments and in no way do they reflect the values of the people who worked so hard to make this the iconic show that it is."
- Roseanne Barr dropped by her agency: "We are all greatly distressed by the disgraceful and unacceptable tweet from Roseanne Barr this morning"
- Black-ish creator Kenya Barris says "Bye-bye!!!" on Instagram
- Rita Moreno calls Roseanne "a sorry excuse for a human being...Your meanness is staggering and will earn you a ticket to a sad, lonely and sorry life"
- Valerie Jarett was already scheduled to appear on MSNBC tonight as part of a "Everyday Racism in America" special
# TOPICS: Roseanne, ABC, Bob Iger, Bruce Helford, Channing Dungey, Emma Kenney, Kenya Barris, Rita Moreno, Roseanne Barr, Sara Gilbert, Shonda Rhimes, Valerie Jarrett, Wanda Sykes, Cancellations, Renewals & Pickups
Posted Friday 5/18/18 at 11:54PM EDT
Grey’s Anatomy stands as a testament to the power of an old-fashioned, long-running network series
While the current TV trend emphasizes shorter seasons and quality over quantity, Grey's is that rare throwback to past TV series that were able to run for years while maintaining interest among fans. As Caroline Siede explains, "long-running show like Grey’s Anatomy measures its successes and failures in eras, not episodes or even seasons. And while Grey’s Anatomy has had some real low points over the years (yes, this is a medical series where someone had sex with a ghost that turned out to be a manifestation of her brain tumor), it’s had plenty of peaks to counter those valleys. The show’s most recent creative renaissance came thanks to its biggest ever creative shakeup—the decision to kill off Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek 'McDreamy' Shepherd in the 11th season episode 'How To Save A Life.' In examining what Meredith’s life looks like in a post-Derek world, Grey’s Anatomy got a creative kick start (not to mention a ratings boost). And since then it’s been refreshingly willing to mine its own past for emotional resonance, most successfully in seasons 12 and 14."
Posted Thursday 5/17/18 at 10:42PM EDT
How Grey's Anatomy said goodbye to Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw
Ellen Pompeo strongly hinted how fan favorites April and Arizona likely wouldn't exit the series in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "And judging from how Thursday's finale ended for both departing actresses, it's clear that the ABC medical drama valued Capshaw and Drew as much as their legions of viewers did," says Lesley Goldberg. After the episode ended, Shonda Rhimes paid tribute to the actresses, tweeting: "I will never stop being grateful for the chance to work with @sarahdrew and @JessicaCapshaw. In April and Arizona, they created powerful unforgettable characters.
Posted Monday 5/14/18 at 11:28PM EDT
Netflix boss: Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy "don't care" about viewership numbers
"They don't want to know," says Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "In fact, there's great comfort that comes from not having this arbitrary apples-to-oranges measurement against other things on television. If we're happy, they're happy."
Posted Friday 5/11/18 at 6:52PM EDT
How to Get Away with Murder renewed for Season 5
Creator Pete Nowalk announced the news on Twitter that his Shondaland drama starring Viola Davis will be back next season: "Season 5, we are coming for you! Thanks to all our fans #HTGAWM.”
Posted Friday 5/11/18 at 6:52PM EDT
ABC renews Shondaland freshman dramas For the People and Station 19, plus American Housewife
The Britt Robertson-starring For the People has struggled in the ratings, but it'll be back for a second season. Grey's Anatomy spinoff Station 19 will also return as it is ranked No. 3 among all ABC dramas (behind Grey's and The Good Doctor). Comedy American Housewife successfully moved to its post-Modern Family timeslot in its second season.
Posted Saturday 4/21/18 at 2:19AM EDT
Grey's Anatomy renewed for Season 15, becoming ABC's longest-running scripted series
The renewal was considered a foregone conclusion since Ellen Pompeo signed a two-year deal in January to stay on the medical drama. With the pickup, Grey's Anatomy surpasses The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, the ABC sitcom that aired for 14 seasons between 1952 and 1966. The renewal was revealed at the Grey's Anatomy's Season 14 wrap party on Friday night. “Grey’s Anatomy has a special place in my heart and millions of viewers feel the same way,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey in a statement. “Thanks to fiercely loyal fans who have been on this journey since the beginning, and new generations of viewers who continue to discover the joy and drama of Grey Sloan Memorial, the show is as strong as ever.” ALSO: See the Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw farewell cake.
Posted Friday 4/20/18 at 10:50PM EDT
Scandal's Olivia Pope was not a role model, but her deification makes sense when you consider what she represents
As Willa Paskin points out, Kerry Washington's character "beat a disabled man (who, to be fair, was also an evil child killer) to death with a chair. She’s rigged an election. She was, briefly, the head of B613. She’s done awful things I don’t even remember and awful things I stopped watching. Her bad deeds are innumerable. But the deification of Olivia Pope make sense if you consider Scandal extratextually—if what those girls are looking at is an Olivia Pope–Kerry Washington hybrid, where the thing to admire, to stand in awe of, is a black woman permitted to do very horrible things and be loved anyway: not a role model, but a shining example of the power of representation." ALSO: Scandal star who didn't make it says of learning the news: "My heart (started) pounding"
Posted Friday 4/20/18 at 1:48PM EDT
Shonda Rhimes wanted Scandal's series finale left to viewers' interpretation
Rhimes spoke to reporters about the finale shortly before it aired, saying her team didn't plan to address the ending, She wanted Scandal fans to interpret for themselves the show's ultimate takeaway about politics and Washington, D.C. "One of the things that Olivia says in the penultimate episode is this idea of standing up and being somebody who puts everything out in the open is important," Rhimes said. "Whether or not everybody pays for what they've done, I don't know that that's what the finale is about as much as it's about seeing what happens once that choice has been made."
- Scandal finale gave Olivia Pope the ending she was always destined for
- Scandal knew its gladiators did a lot of bad things, but asks us to forgive them anyway
- Scandal exits with 5.4 million total viewers, up 29% from the previous week
- Last night's live table read revealed scenes cut from the series finale
- What exactly does that Olivia portrait mean?
- "This is absolutely bonkers": 23 questions about the series finale
- How Scandal made wearing white the ultimate power move
- Ranking every Scandal season: Season 2 is the best
- Bellamy Young pens a column on "What I Learned in Shondaland"
Posted Friday 4/20/18 at 1:48PM EDT
Shonda Rhimes pays tribute to Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw on their final day on Grey's Anatomy
“I need to devote a whole day just to celebrate Jessica and just to celebrate Sarah," Rhimes wrote on Instagram last night. "To tell you stories about their talent and to tell what I know about what their roles have meant. A social media post won’t cut it and I will not minimize their magic by pretending it will. I have more to say. I will do so. For now, I will just say how lucky we were to witness their talents and the magic they brought to their characters.”
Posted Thursday 4/19/18 at 6:51PM EDT
Scandal helped define the Obama era, but may have also predicted the rise of Trump
Scandal outlived its own era, the Obama era, and was effectively made irrelevant by Trump's victory, says Daniel D'Addario. "Along with Mad Men and Girls, Scandal will be on the very short list of series that defined the Obama years, both for its willingness to engage deep conversations on issues of race and its escapist vision of a world in which scandal was still fun," he says. On Scandal, Kerry Washington's "Olivia Pope was not incidentally black but specifically black," he says. "Her affair with a white President whom she also served was written, more and more as the show was emboldened by success, to explicitly reference Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. It was a pairing that was touched by the dynamics of power, and a white man in Scandal’s universe, as ours, has more of it than a black woman." He adds: "Scandal’s unique status as a broadcast-TV drama with a black female protagonist, and the way it made that protagonist a complicated woman who had real conversations about what race meant to her, was well-suited to a time in which the President was, for the first time, able to have similar conversations with the nation. The show came along at the right moment, extending a discussion that was at last happening on America’s most visible stages." But Scandal exits tonight amid a Trump administration that is mired in real-life scandal. "The thing is, there are no real scandals on Scandal; the word implies a public reaction of disgust and disapprobation," says D'Addario. "Scandal spends almost no time with the public, and the resolution of each case—from an untidy murder to an election swinging to the candidate the voters didn’t choose—is, as far as we the viewers can tell, acquiescence. Because everything is breaking all the time, nothing sinks in. In Scandal’s universe, the unending stream of news that might once have seemed unbelievable has become background noise. Scandal got, on some level, that occasional dramas are lots of fun but a news cycle that’s only dramas becomes endurable only by tuning out. It was a show whose time passed, in part because it saw too clearly what it’d be like to live through our own."
- Shonda Rhimes still wonders why Scandal only received a seven-episode Season 1 order: "To me it spoke to a lack of faith in the idea that a black woman could be the lead of a television show. And I found that to be insulting"
- Scandal was "a little miracle of genre fusion, somehow managing to be several seemingly incompatible shows at the same time"
- Rhimes on Olivia Pope's legacy: "Now it feels very normal and obvious that female characters can be antiheroes, and it feels normal and obvious that women of color can lead shows"
- Inside the Scandal writers' room: Shonda Rhimes & Co. recall ABC initially asking that Olivia not sleep with the president
- Scandal was a social-media game-changer, inspiring Twitter to launch boot camps for other TV shows
- Scandal brought Black Twitter to life every Thursday
- Executive producer Betsy Beers realized Scandal was a massive hit after Fitz was shot
- Before Olivia Pope, it was rare to see a black woman portrayed as such a potent symbol of desire in television and film
- Rhimes turned what should've been a limited series into TV immortality by blowing up the plot almost every week
- Kerry Washington on leaving Scandal: “I am not in complete denial, but I don’t think the processing will be complete for a while"
- Rhimes' original Scandal ending was upended by the 2016 election
- "I've always said I'm more Team Olivia than every other team," says Rhimes
- Scandal's success was proof of the power of female viewers, especially black women
- Does Olivia’s white hat still have any meaning at this point?
- The Season 2 episode “Spies Like Us" is where scandal went off the rails, forever altering its DNA
- Here are the 23 greatest Scandal monologues
- The Season 3 finale “The Price of Free and Fair Elections" illustrated Scandal's early promise and its worst impulses
- Scandal cast and crew discuss their favorite scenes
- Scandal was always about Olivia and Mellie finding each other
- Katie Lowes and Guillermo Diaz agree "The Lawn Chair" is the most important episode in establishing Scandal's legacy
- Ranking the Scandal characters by how shady they are
- The Music of Scandal: Shonda Rhimes made it a point to highlight black music icons
- How costume designer Lyn Paolo's own Prada bag ended up becoming an iconic part of Scandal
- Olivia Pope's best speeches, ranked
- Scandal finale to feature a brand-new song by an R&B legend
- What's next for the Scandal stars?
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Shonda Rhimes: There are no plans for Scandal characters to show up on How to Get Away with Murder
Rhimes says it would be up to HTGAWM creator Pete Nowalk for another crossover. “That’s his show and his storytelling," she says. "I don’t know if he’s ever going to mention it. It’s not a plan that either one of us have. Neither one of us have that in our heads as part of a plan, so thus far, no.”