Shonda Rhimes

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Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes 2008.jpg
Rhimes in 2008
Born(1970-01-13) January 13, 1970 (age 44)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
OccupationProducer, Screenwriter, and Director
Years active1995–present
ChildrenHarper Rhimes
Emerson Rhimes
Beckett Rhimes
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Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes 2008.jpg
Rhimes in 2008
Born(1970-01-13) January 13, 1970 (age 44)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
OccupationProducer, Screenwriter, and Director
Years active1995–present
ChildrenHarper Rhimes
Emerson Rhimes
Beckett 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, its spin-off Private Practice and political thriller series Scandal. 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 which aired on ABC from January 12, 2011 to April 6, 2011. Rhimes' new show for ABC is the legal series How to Get Away with Murder, which will debut in the 2014-15 season.[2]

Early life[edit]

Rhimes was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of a university administrator and a college professor.[3] Rhimes resided in Park Forest South, Illinois (now University Park), with two older brothers and three older sisters. Rhimes has stated that she exhibited an early affinity for storytelling[4] and that her time spent as a hospital volunteer while in high school sparked an interest in hospital environments.[5] Rhimes attended Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois, 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.[4] Rhimes was ranked at the top of her class and earned the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship Award.[4] Rhimes earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television.[4]


Career beginnings: 1995–2004[edit]

After graduation, Rhimes found herself an unemployed scriptwriter in Hollywood.[4] 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).[4] Rhimes made her directorial debut in 1998 with the short film Blossoms and Veils starring Jada Pinkett-Smith and Jeffrey Wright.[4] 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.[4] In 2001, Rhimes wrote Crossroads, the debut film of pop singer Britney Spears.[6] Despite being panned by critics, the film grossed over $60 million worldwide.[7][8] 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.[4]

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

Rhimes is the creator, and is currently the 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 Grey Sloan Memorial 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,[9] 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 show is still being aired.

Rhimes also created and produced 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 series 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. The lead character was Catherine, an ambitious female news producer, who with her colleagues pursued "the story" at all costs while juggling their personal animosities and crises of conscience.[10] It was not picked up by the network.[11] 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.[12] The series was officially cancelled by the ABC network on May 13, 2011.[13] 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.[14][15] The series debut aired on April 5, 2012.[16]

She developed the period drama television pilot Gilded Lillys in 2012, which was not picked up to series.[17][18]

In December 2013 it was announced that ABC had ordered to pilot the Shondaland production How To Get Away With Murder.[19] Actress Viola Davis joined the cast as the lead character in February 2014.[20] It was officially picked up to series on May 8, 2014.[21]


"Shondaland[23]" is a term created and logo, which displays a number of shows that Shonda Rhimes has created. Shondaland is also commonly used to refer to Shonda Rhimes. Shows which are included in Shondaland are:

Actors within Shondaland.[edit]

"Shondaland" uses many actors throughout the shows but many are re-used. Characters tend to be recurring in one series and a main character in the other.

Personal life[edit]

Rhimes adopted her first daughter, Harper, in June 2002 and adopted another girl in February 2012 named Emerson Pearl.[25] In September 2013, Rhimes welcomed her third daughter, Beckett, via gestational surrogacy.[26]


YearTitleCredited as
1995Hank Aaron: Chasing the DreamNoNoNo
1998Blossoms and VeilsYesYesYes
1999Introducing Dorothy DandridgeNoYesNo
2004The Princess Diaries 2: Royal EngagementNoYesNo
2005–presentGrey's AnatomyNoYesYes
2007–13Private PracticeNoYesYes
2009Inside the BoxNoNoYes
2009Seattle Grace: On CallNoNoYes
2009Seattle Grace: Message of HopeNoNoYes
2011Off the MapNoNoYes
2012Gilded LilysNoNoYes
2014–presentHow to Get Away with MurderNoNoYes



  1. ^ Oh, Sandra (May 3, 2007). "The TIME 100, ARTISTS & ENTERTAINERS". TIME. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 
  2. ^ Retrieved 2015-05-24
  3. ^ Paskin, Willa, fmiog: Jaylaboo___.html?pagewanted=2&hp "Network TV Is Broken. So How Does Shonda Rhimes Keep Making Hits?", New York Times Magazine, May 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-09.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shonda Rhimes, bio.
  5. ^ Maureen, Ryan (2005-12-21). "Shonda Rhimes, creator of 'Grey's Anatomy' and a Chicagoan of the Year". The Watcher. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  6. ^ Moss, Corey (November 6, 2011). "Britney's heart into 'Crossroads,' outtakes from flick appear on Britney". MTV. MTV Networks. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  7. ^ Snetiker, Marc (2012-02-15). "Crossroads Tenth Anniversary". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. 
  8. ^ "Crossroads Daily Chart View". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. 2002-02-15. Retrieved 2002-02-15. 
  9. ^ "ABC Fall 2006 Schedule". Zap2it. 2006-07-11. Retrieved 2006-10-25. 
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2009). "Indira Varma to star in ABC's 'Inside the Box'". AP via Hollywood Reporter. 
  11. ^ Tweet on Shonda Rhimes's Twitter Account
  12. ^ Hanh Nguyen (18 May 2010). "ABC's fall TV schedule, night by night". Zap2it. Retrieved 18 May 2010. 
  13. ^ Updated: "V" Canceled; "Brothers & Sisters", "Mr. Sunshine", "Detroit 187", "Off the Map", "No Ordinary Family" Canceled, Too, TV By the Numbers, May 13, 2011
  14. ^ Chozick, Amy (May 13, 2011). "Shonda Rhimes on Owning Her Characters And Her New Show". The Wall Street Journal. 
  15. ^ Abrams, Natalie, "ABC Picks Up Charlie's Angels, Tim Allen Comedy, Cancels Brothers & Sisters, V", TV Guide, May 13, 2011.
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ James Hibberd (January 13, 2012). "Shonda Rhimes period drama 'Gilded Lillys' gets pilot order". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  18. ^ Lesley Goldberg (January 13, 2012). "'Gilded Lillys': ABC Orders Shonda Rhimes's Period Drama Pilot". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (8 May 2014). "ABC Picks Up Shonda Rhimes ‘How To Get Away With Murder’, John Ridley’s ‘American Crime’, Comedy ‘Black-ish’ To Series". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Shondaland Source". 
  23. ^ "CLG Wiki". 
  24. ^ "CLG Wiki". 
  25. ^ "Shonda Rhimes adopts second baby girl". Essence. 2012-04-07. 
  26. ^ "Shonda Rhimes' Twitter". 2013-09-18. 
  27. ^ Wilson, John (February 10, 2003). "23rd Annual RAZZIE Award® Nominations". Razzie Awards. Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. Retrieved March 7, 2012. 
  28. ^ Past recipients > Lucy Award,, nd.

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