Shonda Rhimes

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Shonda Rhimes
BornShonda Rhimes
(1970-01-13) January 13, 1970 (age 43)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
OccupationProducer, Screenwriter, and Director
Years active1995–present
ChildrenHarper Rhimes
Emerson Rhimes
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Shonda Rhimes
BornShonda Rhimes
(1970-01-13) January 13, 1970 (age 43)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
OccupationProducer, Screenwriter, and Director
Years active1995–present
ChildrenHarper Rhimes
Emerson Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes (born January 13, 1970) is an American screenwriter, director and producer. Rhimes is best known as the creator, head writer, and executive producer of the medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy and its spin-off Private Practice. In May 2007, Rhimes was named one of Time magazine's 100 people who help shape the world.[1] Rhimes was an executive producer for the medical drama series Off the Map, and developed the ABC drama series Scandal, which debuted as a mid-season replacement on April 5, 2012.


Early life

Rhimes was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of a university administrator and a college professor. Rhimes resided in Park Forest South, Illinois (now University Park) with two older brothers and two older sisters. Rhimes has stated that she exhibited an early affinity for storytelling[2] and that her time spent as a candy striper while in high school sparked an interest in hospital environments.[3] Rhimes attended Marian Catholic High School, before enrolling at Dartmouth College, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree. At Dartmouth, she divided her time between fiction and directing and performing in plays. After college, she relocated to San Francisco with an older sibling and obtained a job in advertising. Rhimes would later relocate to Los Angeles to attend USC to study screenwriting.[2] Rhimes was ranked at the top of her class and earned the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship Award.[2] Rhimes earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television.[2]


Career beginnings: 1995–2004

After graduation, Rhimes found herself an unemployed scriptwriter in Hollywood.[2] To make ends meet, Rhimes worked at a variety of day jobs, including as an office administrator, and then as a counselor at a job center that taught mentally ill and homeless people job skills. During this period, Rhimes also worked as research director on the 1995 Peabody Award-winning documentary, Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream (1995).[2] Rhimes made her directorial debut in 1998 with the short film “Blossoms and Veils” starring Jada Pinkett-Smith and Jeffrey Wright.[2] A feature script Rhimes wrote was purchased by New Line Cinema. This was soon followed by an assignment to write the acclaimed 1999 HBO movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. It earned numerous awards for its star, Halle Berry.[2] In 2001, Rhimes wrote Crossroads, the debut film of pop singer Britney Spears.[4] Despite being panned by critics, the film grossed over $60 million worldwide.[5][6] She then moved on to Disney’s sequel to its popular 2001 movie The Princess Diaries. Though 2004's The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) did not score at the box office like its predecessor, Rhimes later said that she treasured the experience if for nothing else – the opportunity to work with its star, Julie Andrews.[2]

Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal and other projects: 2005–present

Rhimes is currently the creator, executive producer and head writer of Grey's Anatomy. The series debuted as a midseason replacement on March 27, 2005. The series focuses on the surgical staff at the fictional Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital in Seattle, Washington. The series features an ensemble cast with Ellen Pompeo serving as titular character Meredith Grey, who provides narration for a majority of the series' episodes. On May 16, 2006, ABC announced plans to relocate Grey's Anatomy from Sunday evenings to Thursdays in order to anchor the network's Thursday evening programming,[7] by airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST. As Thursday has historically been the most competitive programming night among American broadcast networks, the announced schedule change for the series has been viewed by media analysts as another vote of confidence in the series from ABC. The seventh season ended on May 18, 2011 and returned for an eighth season which aired on September 22, 2011.

Rhimes also created and produces the Grey's Anatomy spin-off series Private Practice. The series debuted on September 26, 2007 on ABC. The show chronicles the life of Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) as she leaves Seattle Grace Hospital for Los Angeles in order to join a private practice. The series features an ensemble cast, including Tim Daly, Amy Brenneman, Audra McDonald and Taye Diggs among others. The first season was shortened due to writers' strike and consists of only nine episodes. In May 2012, ABC picked up Private Practice for the 2012-13 television season with 13 episodes. The serie finale was aired January 22, 2013.

Rhimes created a new pilot for ABC in 2010 called Inside the Box, a female-centric ensemble drama set in a Washington, D.C. network news bureau. It centered on Catherine, an ambitious female news producer, and her colleagues pursuing "the story" at all costs while juggling their personal animosities and crises of conscience.[8] It was not picked up by the network.[9] In 2011, Rhimes served as executive producer for the medical drama, Off the Map, which was created by Grey's Anatomy writer, Jenna Bans. It focused on a group of doctors who practice medicine at a remote clinic in the Amazon.[10] The series was officially cancelled by the ABC network on May 13, 2011.[11] In May 2011, ABC ordered Rhimes's pilot script Scandal to series. Kerry Washington stars as Olivia Pope, a political crisis management expert who is partially based on former Bush administration press aide Judy Smith.[12][13] The series debut aired on April 5, 2012.[14]

She developed the period drama television pilot Gilded Lillys in 2012, which was not picked up to series.[15][16]

Personal life

Rhimes adopted her first daughter, Harper, in June 2002 and adopted another girl in February 2012 named Emerson Pearl.[17]


YearTitleCredited as
1995Hank Aaron: Chasing the DreamYesNoNo
1998Blossoms and VeilsYesYesYes
1999Introducing Dorothy DandridgeNoYesNo
2004The Princess Diaries 2: Royal EngagementNoYesNo
2005–presentGrey's AnatomyNoYesYes
2007–2013Private PracticeNoYesYes
2009Inside the BoxNoNoYes
2009Seattle Grace: On CallNoNoYes
2009Seattle Grace: Message of HopeNoNoYes
2011Off the MapNoNoYes
2012Gilded LilysNoNoYes



  1. ^ Oh, Sandra (May 3, 2007). "The TIME 100, ARTISTS & ENTERTAINERS". TIME.,28804,1595326_1595332_1616813,00.html. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shonda Rhimes Bio
  3. ^ Maureen, Ryan (2005-12-21). "Shonda Rhimes, creator of 'Grey's Anatomy' and a Chicagoan of the Year". The Watcher. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
  4. ^ Moss, Corey (November 6, 2011). "Britney's heart into 'Crossroads,' outtakes from flick appear on Britney". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
  5. ^ Snetiker, Marc (2012-02-15). "Crossroads Tenth Anniversary". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner.
  6. ^ "Crossroads Daily Chart View". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Databse. 2002-02-15. Retrieved 2002-02-15.
  7. ^ "ABC Fall 2006 Schedule". Zap2it. 2006-07-11.,0,7505738.story. Retrieved 2006-10-25.
  8. ^ .[dead link]
  9. ^ Tweet on Shonda Rhimes's Twitter Account
  10. ^ Hanh Nguyen (18 May 2010). "ABC's fall TV schedule, night by night". Zap2it. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  11. ^ Updated: "V" Canceled; "Brothers & Sisters", "Mr. Sunshine", "Detroit 187", "Off the Map", "No Ordinary Family" Canceled, Too, TV By the Numbers, May 13, 2011
  12. ^ Chozick, Amy (May 13, 2011). "Shonda Rhimes on Owning Her Characters And Her New Show". The Wall Street Journal.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 10, 2012). "'Cougar Town' Tentatively Slated for March Return; 'Scandal' Premieres April 5, Bumps 'Private Practice' to Tuesdays at 10 + 'Don't Trust the B----...'". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
  15. ^ James Hibberd (January 13, 2012). "Shonda Rhimes period drama 'Gilded Lillys' gets pilot order". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  16. ^ Lesley Goldberg (January 13, 2012). "'Gilded Lillys': ABC Orders Shonda Rhimes's Period Drama Pilot". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  17. ^ "Shonda Rhimes adopts second baby girl". Essence. 2012–04–07.
  18. ^ Wilson, John (February 10, 2003). "23rd Annual RAZZIE Award® Nominations". Razzie Awards. Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  19. ^

External links