Sun Sep 24 05:02:29 SAST 2017

Shonda Rhimes recruited by Netflix, while Robert Kirkman heads for Amazon

By AFP Relaxnews | 2017-08-15 11:56:11.0

 Download platforms Netflix and Amazon have succeeded in signing the creators of "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Walking Dead", two of American television's best-regarded storytellers.

Shonda Rhimes and Robert Kirkman are among the most influential series creators in American television today. And neither has been able to resist the siren call of leading streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon Prime.

After 15 years at ABC Studios, prolific writer and producer Rhimes has signed an exclusive contract on behalf of her company Shondaland to develop series for the digital platform over the next four years. As yet, no information has emerged on the possible series in preparation.

"Ted [Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix] provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. 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. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities," explained Rhimes in a press release.

"Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" to remain on ABC

Although the series creator is moving, her most famous show will continue to be aired by the same broadcasters. "Grey's Anatomy", which made her famous, will begin its 14th season on ABC in September. The same applies to "Scandal", whose seventh and final season will be launched on October 5, and "How to Get Away With Murder", which returns for a fourth season on September 28.

ABC is also keeping "For the People", a future Shonda Rhimes series focusing on ambitious young New York lawyers, and a forthcoming spin-off of "Grey's Anatomy" about firefighters in Seattle.

Amazon recruits Robert Kirkman

As for Amazon Prime, Netflix's rival, it has succeeded in poaching the creator of "The Walking Dead" while he was still under contract to cable channel AMC. Quite an achievement for the retailer's streaming service given the international popularity of the zombie series.

As with Rhimes, Kirkman's previous creations will not follow him to his new destination. "The Walking Dead" and its companion series "Fear the Walking Dead" will still air on AMC, while Cinemax will continue to broadcast another of his creations "Outcast".