Shonda Rhimes
Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock
United States

Shondaland

Shonda
Rhimes

Principal / Producer / Writer

Self-described as naturally shy and more comfortable behind her keyboard as a writer, Rhimes nonetheless built ShondaLand, her thriving production company that’s behind five prime-time series airing on ABC during the 2016-17 TV season. Smart, sophisticated female characters and a penchant for multi-ethnic casts are hallmarks of Rhimes’ creations.

Rhimes had been under a multiyear overall deal at ABC Studios for 15 years, but recently announced a groundbreaking move to Netflix under a rich package allowing her more creative freedom.

An English and film studies major at Dartmouth College, Rhimes earned a master’s from the USC School of Cinematic Arts before breaking into screenwriting with the 1999 HBO movie “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.” That was followed by the script for the 2001 Britney Spears vehicle “Crossroads” and 2004’s “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.”

But it was “Grey’s Anatomy” and its follow-ups (spin-off “Private Practice” along with “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder”) that made Rhimes a producing star. Prior to her tribute as Mipcom Personality of the Year in October, Rhimes told reporters in Cannes, France, that the secret to her successful shows isn’t much of a secret: “I get asked a lot how I manage to create such smart and strong heroines. But I don’t know any dumb and weak women. I’m writing heroines who talk like my mother, my friends. I never felt that what they said was wild.”

In November 2015, Rhimes published her first book, “Year of Yes,” which became a New York Times bestseller. Her next series, legal drama “For the People,” is slated for a midseason premiere on ABC. She also has a spinoff of “Grey’s Anatomy” in the works at the Alphabet.

Career

  • PRIVATE PRACTICE
  • GREY'S ANATOMY
  • SCANDAL

Education

  • Dartmouth College (NH, USA)
  • University of Southern California (CA, USA)

Variety Honors

  • Women's Impact

News from Variety

Shonda Rhimes Calls for Better LGBT Representation in Hollywood: 'People Deserve Realistic Portrayals'

Shonda Rhimes Calls for Better LGBT Representation in Hollywood: 'People Deserve Realistic Portrayals'

The Los Angeles LGBT Center hosted its 48th Gala Vanguard awards on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. Hosted by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, this year’s honorees included co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor Ari Emanuel and former senior advisor to President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett. Also in attendance were J.J. Abrams, Peter Berg, and Wilson Cruz.The ceremony brings together leaders in the entertainment, corporate, and philanthropic industries to celebrate honorees for their support of the LGBT community. Speaking on...

MORE NEWS

Deep Dive

Want more information on Shonda Rhimes?

Variety's premium research & data service, Variety Insight, provides a wealth of information around everyone working in entertainment. Access contact information, development slates, ratings, box office, credits and more from the industry's leading source for entertainment data.