Netflix & Shonda Rhimes extend pact, moving into movies, VR & events

Shonda Rhimes

Netflix has extended its multi-million dollar deal with Bridgerton creator Shonda Rhimes by expanding its TV focus to now also include films and gaming content.

The streamer struck its first pact with the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal showrunner and her Shondaland prodco in 2017 and it is now being supersized.

Moving into merch & VR

The move will see Rhimes, Shondaland and production partner Betsy Beers continuing to work on TV series, as well as expanding into feature films and VR content exclusively for the streamer.

Bridgerton

The agreement also includes a branding and merchandise element, which will see live events and experiences being created, while Netflix is also offering financial and technical support to Shondaland’s diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility schemes.

The deal follows the huge success of Shondaland’s period drama Bridgerton, which has had its third and fourth seasons already commissioned.

The drama is also being used as inspiration for a Secret Cinema event in the UK, while a spin-off drama is also in the works.

Shondaland has also moved into docs with shows such as Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, which is about choreographer Debbie Allen and debuted last year, while Julia Garner drama Inventing Anna is among other projects in the work for next year.

Bela Bajaria

Rhimes, who left ABC to join the streamer, said: “Today, Shondaland at Netflix is creatively thriving, profitable as an asset and engaging audiences around the world with stories that fearlessly challenge viewers and keep them highly entertained all at once.

“Ted, Bela and the entire team at Netflix have been tremendous partners during every step of the process, supporting my creative vision and showing a continued dedication to the innovation that has made Netflix such a powerhouse.”

Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s global head of TV, added: “Shonda makes shows that get the world talking and we’ve seen the power of her creative vision to translate in any language.

“Shonda’s a brilliant businesswoman and a terrific partner and we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with her for years to come.”

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