When Shonda Rhimes signed an overall deal with Netflix in August, the blast radius was wide. The “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator was a brand-defining producer — so much so that when “Scandal” was delayed last year by star Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, ABC suspended its “TGIT” marketing campaign until midseason, when Thursday nights would again boast back-to-back-to-back Rhimes-produced dramas.
The reasons for the producer to leave her longtime home at ABC Studios were obvious. At Netflix, she will enjoy enormous creative freedom at a deep-pocketed company that cancels shows less often than Rhimes kills characters. But linear TV is not going down without a fight. In the wake of her Netflix move and another big deal signed by “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman this summer with Amazon, traditional TV studios have moved aggressively to lock up key producing talent in lucrative overall deals.
Rhimes told ABC months before