Shonda Rhimes is a beast when it comes to creating addictive content — and Netflix is not prepared to say “goodbye” and has extended her deal with them for an additional five years.
Rhimes walked away from ABC for a deal with the streaming giants worth at least $100 million with Netflix.
Her “Bridgerton” series, which premiered over the Christmas holiday, became one of the most popular shows on the platform. However, the series’ male lead, Regé-Jean Page, will not be returning for season two.
“[Page] is amazing, but that’s our job and something that Betsy and I have been doing since—well, God, has it been 20 years now?—is finding guys,” Rhimes said to Variety. “I mean, hopefully, ladies too, but finding men that our audiences find devastatingly attractive and they become incredibly overly attached to, and they get enraged about when we move them about in any way.”
“We didn’t kill him; he’s still alive,” she added. “He’s a powerful, amazing actor, and that meant we did our job—every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance.”
The Hollywood Reporter says Rhimes scored a “significant” up-front raise from the $100 million $150 million initial pact she inked in 2017 — but did not say by how much.
“The reason I came to Netflix is because I wanted to be able to make television without anybody bothering me,” she said last October. “And as long as I get to keep making television without anybody bothering me, I’m happy.”
Rhimes has had a positive experience with the streaming giants.
Last year, British actress and screenplay writer Michaela Coel revealed that Netflix made her an offer for “I May Destroy You” in spring 2017 worth $1 million, and she turned them down.
Coel said that she asked to keep “at least 5 percent of the copyright.” According to Coel, “There was just silence on the phone. And she said, ‘It’s not how we do things here. Nobody does that, it’s not a big deal.’ I said, ‘If it’s not a big deal, then I’d really like to have 5 percent of my rights.’ ”
She said the network still would not agree even when she went down to just 0.5 percent of the copyright.
“I remember thinking, I’ve been going down rabbit holes in my head, like people thinking I’m paranoid, I’m acting sketchy, I’m killing off all my agents,” Coel said. “And then she said those words to me, and I finally realized — I’m not crazy. This is crazy.”