Tag: Shondaland

“Grey’s Anatomy” Creator Shonda Rhimes Offers “MasterClass” on Writing for Television

Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes (photo via black enterprise.com)

article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com

Shonda Rhimes is best known as the creator, head writer, and executive producer of three hit ABC television series—Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder—under her ShondaLand production company banner.

The queen of Thursday night and creative force behind some of television’s most popular shows will offer a writing for television course on the MasterClass online platform. For the first time, Rhimes will give students an intimate, instructional look into how to write a script, pitch a pilot, and run a writer’s room. The class will include over five hours of lessons, along with exclusive access to the Grey’s Anatomy story bible, scripts of Scandal, and much more.  Pre-enrollment is now available at the MasterClass website.  You can also view the MasterClass’ official trailer.

Rhimes on Being an “F.O.D.”

Rhimes made history as the first African American woman to create and executively produce a top-10 network series, with the hit primetime show Grey’s Anatomy. The TV powerhouse also is one of ABC’s top-earning executive producers.

In the past, Rimes has mentioned that she has had to work four times as hard as her peers, while also addressing the pressure of being an African American, female, showrunner—or what she calls an “F.O.D.”: First Only Different. In her book, The Year of Yes, Rhimes writes, “When you are an F.O.D., you are saddled with that burden of extra responsibility, whether you want it or not.” She felt the pressure when she dodged reporters’ questions about diversity or race. “You can’t be raised black in America and not know,” she writes. “This wasn’t just my shot. It was ours.”

To read more, go to: Shonda Rhimes Joins MasterClass to Teach Writing for Television

ABC Renews ‘The Catch’ and Orders New Shondaland Series “Still Star-Crossed”

Still Star-Crossed
“Still Star-Crossed” (PHOTO COURTESY OF ABC)

article by Elizabeth Wagmeister via Variety.com

ABC is staying in business with Shonda Rhimes.  The mega-producer has landed yet another series at the network, with “Still Star-Crossed” being handed a series order for the 2016-2017 season.  Plus, Shondaland’s newest show, “The Catch,” has been renewed for Season 2.

“Still Star-Crossed” is a departure for Shondaland, as it marks the first period drama from a company that’s known for “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away with Murder.”

Based on Melinda Taub’s book of the same name, “Still Star-Crossed” picks up where the famous story of Romeo and Juliet ends, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.

The cast includes Wade Briggs as Benvolio Montague, Anthony Head as Lord Silvestro Capulet, Zuleikha Robinson as Lady Guiliana Capulet, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline, Ebonee Noel as Livia, Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus, Medalion Rahimi as Princess Isabella, Grant Bowler as Damiano Montague, Susan Wooldrigde as Nurse, Torrance Coombs as Paris and Dan Hildebrand as Friar Lawrence.

“Scandal” and “Grey’s” alum Heather Mitchell is writer and executive producer. Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Michael Goldstein and pilot director Michael Offer are also executive producing the ABC Studios project.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/the-catch-renewed-season-2-abc-shondaland-1201773247/

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Writer Zoanne Clack and Shondaland Sell Baghdad-Set Military Drama Project to ABC

Zoanne Clack ABC
Zoanne Clack (photo COURTESY OF ABC)

ABC has bought a Baghdad-set military drama project from “Grey’s Anatomy” veteran Zoanne Clack and Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland production company.

The untitled show is set circa 2004 among an U.S. Army Medevac team who work out of a base camp in the Iraqi capital. The series revolves around team members who “get on each other’s nerves, sleep with the wrong people, navigate ‘office’ politics and party like there’s no tomorrow.”

Clack is writing the script for ABC Studios and Shondaland. Clack, Rhimes and Shondaland’s Betsy Beers are exec producing for ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based.

Clack has worked her way up the ranks at “Grey’s Anatomy” since that show’s inception, rising from story editor to executive producer. She’s repped by CAA and manager Alan Rautbort at Circle of Confusion.

Shondaland has two comedy projects and another drama in the development pipeline this year at ABC.

article by Cynthia Littleton via variety.com

FEATURE: Debbie Allen Discusses Directing TV & Her Many Roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12

Director/Producer/Actor Debbie Allen (TERENCE PATRICK FOR VARIETY)

Debbie Allen rose to fame with “Fame,” serving as a director, producer and choreographer. She was also the first black woman to be Emmy-nominated in the dramatic lead actress category. More than three decades later, she has a recurring role on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and is a frequent director — and now executive producer of the show. “It’s a little crazy, but what a great life,” Allen tells Variety. “I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof that somehow landed on all fours.”

What are your new responsibilities on “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12, being a director, actor and executive producer?

I’m very involved in every episode, in terms of production design. I’m selecting the directors this season, looking over everything from makeup and hair to the actors’ concerns. I spend a lot of time with the writers, which I love.

How do you balance acting in an episode that you’re also directing and producing?

It’s actually how I started on “Fame.” I trained in acting, literature and theater, so talking to actors is something I’m really used to doing. That gives me a little bit of an edge sometimes. I know how to speak the actor’s language. On “Fame,” I started as Ms. Lydia Grant and I was the choreographer, but I soon became their favorite director because I knew how to shoot the dance and then I understood the acting. Doing it all at the same time is how I came into it.

Have you noticed a big change in your role on “Grey’s,” now that you’re an executive producer?

Very dramatic change. I’ve always been there as a director and somewhat of a den mom — it’s interesting; so many of them grew up on “Fame,” and I’ll never forget the first time I directed, Patrick Dempsey started singing “Fame” and doing jetes, and I’m like, “Stop it already. Stop it!” — so now, there are things that are my responsibility or things that I keep my eye on or things that I can mitigate. I’m responsible for a lot of things, which is a wonderful position to have. I’ve done this once before on “A Different World.” I was the executive producer and director on that show for five years. But this is different. It’s an hour, it’s in its twelfth season, but it feels like it’s brand new.

Speaking of Patrick Dempsey, how is the set different without him?

We had a great relationship. My nickname for him was “Dash” — Dash was the kid in “The Incredibles” that was running fast. He would come through the set like that. He was on the move. Racing cars defines him for real. Patrick is not there so it changes the dynamic of the story for Meredith.

How much will you be featured in this season?

Catherine Avery is still a guest star. She’s not a series regular, but I’m there so when they need me now — last year, they had to go and try to find me — they can take advantage of me, and it’s okay! I’m not mad about it.

Continue reading “FEATURE: Debbie Allen Discusses Directing TV & Her Many Roles in “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 12″

Shonda Rhimes Adds Comedy Project “Splitsville” to Development Slate at ABC

Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes’ production company has sold yet another series to ABC.  Shondaland is teaming with “Trophy Wife” creators Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins to develop the half-hour comedy “Splitsville,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The comedy follows a group of single residents of a suburban cul-de-sac, who in the wake of a wave of divorces, join forces to raise their kids and get through it together.  Halpern and Haskins will write the script and executive produce alongside Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers.

The project marks a reunion for Rhimes and Beers with Halpern, who was an executive story editor/writer on “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff “Private Practice.”

article via eurweb.com 

Shonda Rhimes’ “Year Of Yes” Memoir to Be Published by Simon & Schuster this November

TV Powerhouse Shonda Rhimes
TV Powerhouse Shonda Rhimes

Grey’s Anatomy/Scandal/How To Get Away With Murder executive producer Shonda Rhimes will publish her first book with Simon & Schuster in November, according to an announcement today by VP/editor-in-chief Marysue Rucci. That sets up a date after the original rights deal was signed in November 2013.

In December of that year, Rhimes accepted a challenge to say “Yes” to the unexpected invitations that come her way for one year. In Year Of Yes she chronicles the powerful impact saying “Yes” had on every aspect of her life.

“It’s mind-boggling that the mega-talented Shonda Rhimes, one of the most admired and accomplished women in Hollywood, would feel the need to challenge her status quo,” Rucci said in the announcement. “But by saying yes for a year, she truly transformed her life for the better in every way. Year Of Yes is surprising, hilarious, poignant, and accessible. It’s easy to imagine this book inspiring a movement and we couldn’t be more excited to publish it at Simon & Schuster.”

article by Jeremy Gerard via deadline.com

Debbie Allen To Expand Her “Grey’s Anatomy” Role – Will Become Executive Producer & Director

Debbie Allen as Dr. Catherine Fox Avery on GREY'S ANATOMY
Producer/Actor/Director Debbie Allen

After appearing in the hit ABC Shonda Rhimes medical drama, and directing a number of episodes, Debbie Allen is getting ready to step into an even larger role, as an executive producer and regular director for the upcoming 12th season of the show, which actually hasn’t been officially renewed, but is obviously expected to be.

The ratings for “Grey’s Anatomy” continue to be strong for ABC, as part of the network’s booming Thursday night lineup, also known as Shonda night, given that all 3 drama series (“Grey’s,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder”) that air in primetime on that day, are all Shondaland babies. Also, ratings have apparently surged ever since (SPOILER ALERT) the show killed off one of its key players in Patrick Dempsey. Although it’ll be worth paying attention to see whether the momentum carries.

Debbie Allen has directed episodes of several different TV shows over the years, dating back to “Fame” in the 1980s, to “Jane the Virgin” and “Empire” most recently. This new deal ensures that she will be even more involved in the production of the series from here-on, while still also recurring as Dr. Catherine Avery.

The final episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” will air over the next two Thursdays.

article by Tambay A. Obenson via blogs.indiewire.com

Dee Rees and Shonda Rhimes Developing Historical Drama ‘Warmth of Other Suns’ For FX

Shonda Rhimes, Dee Rees Developing 'Warmth
“Pariah” and “Bessie” director Dee Rees (CINDY ORD/GETTY IMAGES FOR HBO)

The book chronicles the movement of some 6 million African-Americans from the south into the north and western regions of the country from the period of 1915 to 1970. “Warmth of Other Suns” tells much of the story through the eyes of three characters who made the journey in different decades. Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize winner for her work at the New York Times, earned a host of critical acclaim for the book.

The TV adaptation is in the early stages of development. FX Prods. is shepherding with ABC Signature, the cable arm of ABC Studios, where Shondaland is based. Rees is writing the adaptation and exec producing with Shonda Rhimes and Shondaland’s Besty Beers.

Rees most recently wrote and directed HBO’s Bessie Smith biopic “Bessie,” which bows May 16. She made her feature directing debut in 2011 with the Sundance hit “Pariah.”

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com

ABC Orders Crime Thriller Pilot “The Catch” From Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes
ABC’s Mega Producer Shonda Rhimes (MICHAEL TRAN/FILMMAGIC)

According to Variety.com, ABC has picked another drama pilot for their 2015-16 season from “TGIT” queen Shonda Rhimes.

“The Catch” from Shondaland’s Rhimes and Betsy Beers follows a female forensic accountant whose career specialty is exposing fraud for a living. Much like the lead ladies of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder,” the sure-to-be fierce woman at the forefront of the crime thriller has tumultuous love life with her fiancé, complete with cons and lies.

The pilot will be exec produced by Rhimes, Beers and Julie Anne Robinson, and co-produced by Helen Gregory and Kate Atkinson. Robinson is set to direct and Jennifer Schuur will write the pilot.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Shonda Rhimes Renews with ABC Studios Through 2018

Shonda Rhimes Renews with ABC Studios

According to Variety.com, “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes has set a long-term extension of her overall deal with ABC Studios through May 2018.

Rhimes’ deal extension has been a long time in the works, given the amount of business she has in play at ABC and her status as an uber-showrunner.  “Grey’s Anatomy”, Rhimes’ initial breakout hit, remains a Thursday workhorse for the network as it heads into its 11th season.  “Grey’s” spinoff “Private Practice”, although not as highly-rated, lasted seven seasons in the ABC lineup.  “Scandal” blossomed into a bona fide hit for ABC this past season, and will kick off its fourth season this fall.

Next up for ABC under the Shondaland banner is the Viola Davis-starrer “How to Get Away with Murder.” The series was was created by “Grey’s Anatomy” vet Peter Nowalk and is executive produced by Rhimes and her longtime producing partner Betsy Beers.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

 

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