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Netflix’s Ted Sarandos on Shonda Rhimes: ‘I Have Tremendous Respect for Her’

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos delivered a massive surprise Sunday night when he stole Shonda Rhimes away from her longtime home at ABC.

For this week’s magazine, on stands Tuesday, Sarandos granted a far-ranging interview with Variety on his plans to continue to build original content at Netflix, with both streaming movies and TV series. Netflix earned 92 Emmy nominations this summer for such series as “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” and the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” And bringing Shondaland to Netflix will continue to elevate its status as a powerhouse in the TV world.

On Monday morning, Sarandos shared with Variety what it means to have Rhimes as part Netflix’s ever-expanding catalogue.

“Our goal is to create a creative environment for great storytellers to do the best work of their lives,” Sarandos said. “Pick the right talent and support them. That model has served Netflix well in our business culture and for the last five years, it has served us well with the creation of original series, films, documentaries, and specials.”

“Shonda and I have gotten to know each other over the years and I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for her personally and professionally,” continued Sarandos. “I have sought her feedback and even delivered DVDs to her house myself of our upcoming projects. We live a few blocks from each other, her shows premiere on Netflix around the world, our offices are very near her ‘Scandal’ stages and now that all comes together in this deal that will have Netflix be the new home of Shondaland, one of the most prolific and popular brands on television.”

For more from our cover story, check back with Variety.com on Tuesday. 

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