Shonda Rhimes Developing New Show About PR/Crisis Guru

at . Comments

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.

Shonda R

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.

Avatar

Agree with anuflas & McIntern...we saw what happened to GA after she started PP. It's never been the same...she keeps adding characters so she doesn't have to come up with good writing for the originals. So I too am hoping that she's expecting to end GA after Ellen & Patrick leave. Who knows, maybe she'll get rid of these useless things & get back to good SL for the originals before it ends.

Avatar

SR is preparing future projects cos hopefully she's realised that it's best to end GA after S8 whilst it's still has an sudience, fans and good storylines. I won't watch GA once MerDer leave. No doubt we'll see some GA actors turn up in other SR projects.

Avatar

@MissKitten:
Yes he did. He wrote and had writers just as Shonda does, and he was producer and executive producer, just as Shonda is. As you know, Shonda does not write every episode of GA or PP but she does provide her insight and scrutiny as the creator. So did Aaron Spelling.

Misskitten

@June but did Aaron Spelling WRITE any of those productions?

Avatar

@anuflas Agreed. Though the current seasons seem to have improved compared to the last.

Avatar

I also wonder what will happen to GA & PP. While both shows are stable, the stories are lacking substance and need a lot of attention to get a bit better. @User, PR = Public Relations.

Avatar

this sounds amazing!!

Avatar

It's not am impossible task to be connected to a number of productions when you have the right people working with you. Aaron Spelling was either the producer or executive producer of over 200 productions, many running at the same time including Charlie's Angels, Dynasty, Starsky and Hutch, Family, Hotel - they were all successful in their own right. So Shonda is in the running to be a female Spelling. I say more power to her!!! But agree, I hope Grey's still remains focused on improving as it has this past season.

Mcintern

Maybe I'm being selfish, but it is definitely possible to spread oneself too thin and I wonder about how this will affect Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice.

Avatar

What's PR?

Tags: , ,

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

When we say things like "people don't change" it drives scientist crazy because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy. Matter. It's always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It's the way people try not to change that's unnatural. The way we cling to what things were instead of letting things be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing despite every scientific indication that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change that's up to us. It can feel like death or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment we can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, we can be born all over again.

Meredith

Callie: Did anyone ever think you two were a couple?
Meredith: No, because we screw boys like whores on tequila.
Cristina: Then we either try to marry them or drown ourselves.
Callie: Huh.