Shonda Rhimes Developing New Show About PR/Crisis Guru

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Shonda Rhimes knows a thing or two about dealing with PR landmines. See Washington, Isaiah, and to a lesser extent, Heigl, Katherine. Fittingly, Rhimes is now developing a new series about a crisis manager, based on real-life consultant Judy Smith.

With Bill Clinton, Michael Vick, and New York Governor David Paterson among her scandal-plagued clients, Smith inspired Rhimes' newest, currently-untitled drama.

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The project (which some development trackers had been calling In Crisis) will revolve around the life and work of a professional "fixer" and her dysfunctional staff.

Rhimes is writing the script for the pilot and will executive produce with her ABC Studios–based Shondaland production company. Smith is also set to be a producer.

The show is being developed for the 2011–12 TV season, and while it is still in its infancy, the idea sounds like something ABC executives might be rather keen on.

The network has failed to develop a Law & Order–like procedural in the legal or police arenas. Rhimes' latest effort could offer that kind of drama in a different motif.

Maybe Smith can even convince some of her ex-clients to do ironic cameos, New York Magazine wryly notes. Michael Vick as a pet-shop owner, perhaps? Okay, sorry.

The crisis project isn't the only potential series on Rhimes' agenda.

In addition to the new medical drama Off the Map, which features doctors in South America and premieres on ABC in January, Shondaland is developing Life After Marriage, a comedic drama that uses a divorce as the starting point for a show about new lives beginning unexpectedly.

Rhimes is supervising this show as an executive producer; the writer is Danny Brocklehurst, best known for his work on the award-winning British TV drama Shameless (the U.S. adaptation of that show debuts on Showtime in January).

One of her pilots, a show about D.C. journalists titled Inside the Box, actually failed to get picked up last season, but clearly she's had many more successes than not.

Shonda, of course, is best known for creating Grey's Anatomy and its spinoff Private Practice, both of which have become long-running cash cows for ABC Thursdays.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Hello, I love Grey's Anatomy....How do get the Shondaland logo as a screen saver on my pc or cell? I Love that pic........


@J Life is hard enough without getting offended at every 'perceived' slight that isn't even directed at oneself personally.
To be offended to the point of writing a comment and arguing with people you don't know is ridiculous, honestly.


I will say it again...I find your attack of Shonda's CHARACTER and her CREDIBILITY as a producer and executive in Hollywood to be offensive. And, I wonder if she were a man would you dare question whether HE has the 'gumption or sensibility' or identify HIM with the tag of "Stupid or OLD'. I could give a rats a$$ what you think about the you say, you are entitled to your opinion...but it is the attack of her AS A PERSON that I find offensive, and rude, and quite frankly, disheartening that you don't see that.


Before you start attacking other people for having opinions that differ from yours, "J", you might want to back up your statements with fact. Just because you disagree with us doesn't mean our comments are "ignorant and offensive" or "rude" at all. The fact that you take issue with what was said I find pretty sad and pathetic. Maybe instead of telling people they know nothing about TV shows, you could provide some facts to backup your claims. And what does the fact that Shonda is a "WOMAN" have to do with it? If you don't like our opinions, that's fine, but don't attack us just because you disagree. What's truly rude and ignorant is the fact that you call out some of our statements without any real reason for the attack, except that you disagree. You know nothing about us and we know nothing about you, so who are you to say that we are "clueless"? Seriously.


@J YES! Thank you. SR made her own empire (That didn't start with GA. GA just catapulted her career). Its obvious that she's never able to please everyone with each storyline. Such is life! However, there are still millions of loyal viewers tuning in for GA and PP every week. Kudos to SR for securing these projects! I'm sure they will be worth watching. And if its not your cup of tea, there will be at least 8 seasons of GA for you to watch again.


I really think that some people are just plain rude and quite honestly, clueless, when it comes to putting tv shows on the air. To say "I doubt that SR has the gumption and sensibility to keep four shows afloat..." as @CoH has and to add "GA will no longer be getting priority which means that SL will probably be either STUPID or OLD..." as @DG has is really ignorant, and personally I find offensive. Can we show some respect to a WOMAN who has brought us great TV for 7 seasons, and I have every confidence SHE will continue to do so.


I'm bracing myself for the fact that Grey's will most likely go downhill. I'm happy for SR. But seriously I'm inclined to believe that GA will no longer be getting priority which means that SL will probably be either STUPID or OLD. Her new shows will get most of the attention as they as just starting out and GA is on the way out. IMO GA should be getting priority because of that fact and with everything the show's (and the fan) been through it deserves to go out with a BANG.


Good for Shonda, sounds like she has a lot going for her these days. I guess she is moving on from medical to PR.


P.S. I thought Season 7 was going to be a true return to what was so great about Grey's originally, but each new episode is making me feel like the "old" Grey's is dead and gone. This season doesn't "suck" but it definitely doesn't live up to what I was expecting OR the hype that it got over the summer.


As optimistic as some others are, I'm thinking in terms of realism. Realistically I doubt that SR has the gumption and sensibility to keep four shows afloat at once, since she can barely handle the first two she's created. People have been complaining for years about how Grey's isn't the way it used to be since PP came out. What do you think is going to happen when she launches two more shows? I'll be happy to eat crow if Off The Map and this other new project don't have a negative effect on GA and PP, but I think it's much more likely that they will in fact contribute to the further decline of both series.

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