‘Anatomy’ of an expanded deal

Blue skies for 'Grey's' topper Rhimes

As ABC prepares to send “Grey’s Anatomy” into Thursday night combat, sibling studio Touchstone TV has extended its overall deal with creator-exec producer Shonda Rhimes.

Rhimes had previously signed a seven-figure two-year deal (and option for a third year) with Touchstone in 2005. Pact has now been extended for at least two more years.

Deal keeps Rhimes in charge of “Grey’s” and includes a development component.

The extension comes as “Grey’s” ensemble cast looks to renegotiate their pacts for the smash show. “Grey’s” is key to ABC’s scheduling strategy next year, as the Alphabet made the riskiest move of any network by shifting it to Thursdays opposite CBS’ “CSI.”

But ABC has good reason to believe the gamble will pay off: “Grey’s” quickly turned into a smash for the net after its midseason bow last year. The net even scheduled an episode of “Grey’s” in the plum post-Super Bowl slot this past year, which helped send the show skyrocketing to even greater heights.

Meanwhile, this summer Rhimes is shooting a journalism-inspired drama for ABC. Project is a reworking of an earlier script about female war correspondents; now, the pilot focuses on the world of journalism through the eyes of four women.

Rhimes’ other credits include the feature “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” and the HBO longform “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.”

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