Shonda Rhimes Leaves ABC for Netflix: What Does It Mean for TGIT?

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Shonda Rhimes has built a rock-solid relationship with ABC over the years, with the Emmy winner even having a night devoted to three of her biggest hits every week. 

In somewhat surprising news, the Grey's Anatomy creator is branching out and will be taking her production company, Shondaland, over to Netflix. 

Shonda Rhimes Attends Event

The deal will span multiple years and will find Shondaland making new hit series and other projects for the streaming giant. In equally surprising news, Rhimes' producing partner, Betsy Beers is also leaving ABC behind. 

"Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television," Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, told E! News in a statement.

"Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I've gotten the chance to know Shonda, and she's a true Netflixer at heart—she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience."

"We're so excited to welcome her to Netflix," the statement concluded. 

Shonda Rhimes Attends Summit

Like Ted, Shonda had a statement of her own in which she confirmed the unprecedented move. 

"Shondaland's move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos, and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company. Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix," Rhimes said.

"He understood what I was looking for—the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix's singular sense of innovation."

While Shondaland will no longer be making shows for ABC, that's not to say Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, For The People and the upcoming Grey's Anatomy spin-off are in trouble. 

Shonda Rhimes Attends Vanity Fair Event

"The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities. Our current shows will continue to thrive on ABC and Shondaland will be there every step of the way. I could not have asked for a better home to begin my career."

"I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people—especially our studio gladiator Patrick Moran and our most powerful and brilliant champion [ABC Entertainment president] Channing Dungey."

"Starting today, we are thrilled to begin creating new Shondaland stories with Netflix. Everyone at Shondaland is honored to expand both our audience and our creative identity with Ted and the entire team at Netflix."

"I am a huge fan of the talented team and amazing programming at Netflix," Beers added. "The ability to create content for our new partners is an exciting challenge. I am grateful to everyone at ABC for their continued support, and I look forward to beginning this next chapter at Netflix."

It's certainly one of the most shocking announcements in recent memory, but there were rumors that Shonda was ready to branch out with her own streaming service earlier this year. 

Landing at Netflix is the best of both worlds because the service is getting more popular by the day, with record sign ups, so it makes sense from a business standpoint. 

ABC president, Channing Dungey was quick to put rumors to bed that TGIT could be coming to an end on the network. 

"I'm proud to have given a home to what have become some of the most celebrated and talked about shows on television," Dungey said in a statement.

"With the launch of a new season upon us, fans can rest assured that TGIT remains intact and will be as buzzed about as ever."

Okay, TV Fanatics. What do you think of this shocking news?

Sound off below!

Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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