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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


this sounds amazing!!


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.


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.


What's PR?

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.