Shonda Rhimes, at age 50, has established a lasting legacy. Rhimes is the first Black woman to showrun a successful primetime drama on a broadcast network, thanks to the popularity of “Grey’s Anatomy,” which was produced by her company, Shondaland, and aired on ABC.
But that was merely the start. Thanks to the popularity of her subsequent series like “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” Shonda Rhimes was given a new nickname: #TGIT (“Thank God It’s Thursday”).
She left ABC early in 2017, forgoing a $10 million base salary for a four-year agreement with Netflix, reportedly worth $150 million, as reported by The New York Times. Rhimes is now one of the most successful television producers, with a $135 million fortune, according to Forbes.
When Business Insider asked for comment on Shonda Rhimes’ wealth and spending habits, a spokeswoman for Rhimes did not immediately answer. Here is how Rhimes spends her money: on holidays for the “Grey’s Anatomy” actors and in real estate in and around Los Angeles.
It was in 2003 when Rhimes began his next big undertaking. It was the “Grey’s Anatomy” project. In 2005, ABC picked it up after hearing a pitch for it and put it in the middle of the season. In March of 2005, “Grey’s Anatomy” made its debut after being picked up midseason. After the first season, “Grey’s Anatomy” was regularly seen by 20 million people worldwide.
In May of 2006, ABC announced that “Grey’s Anatomy” would be moving to Thursday nights to serve as the network’s Thursday night centerpiece. Private Practice, a spin-off of “Grey’s Anatomy,” was developed and produced by Rhimes in 2007. ABC ordered 13 episodes of “Private Practice” for the upcoming 2012–13 TV season back in May 2012.
On January 22, 2013, the final episode of the show aired. While speaking to E! in 2017, Rhimes revealed that she and “Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) have an agreement to continue filming for as long as Pompeo desires. I have promised Ellen (Pompeo) that I will continue to appear on her talk program as long as she continues to appear on it.
Because of this, the show will continue as long as both of us are interested in doing it. Whenever she says so, we’ll halt our progress. So, I have no idea if we’ll hit 600, but I’d like to keep things interesting anyway. If there are new stories to tell and we’re both interested in hearing them, then we’re game. So, we’ll have to watch what happens next.
The three main cast members of “Grey’s Anatomy” (Kim Raver, Kevin McKidd, and Camilla Luddington) have signed three-year contracts beginning with the 2020-21 season. Fans are now theorizing that Rhimes and Pompeo have a three year plan to kill “Grey’s Anatomy.”
ABC premiered “Station 19” in 2018, the second “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff series created by Shondaland. It follows a group of firefighters and EMTs in Seattle who have connections to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and some members of the “Grey’s Anatomy” cast.
In May of 2011, ABC gave Rhimes a series order for his pilot “Scandal.” Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, is an adept at handling political crises. The first episode of “Scandal” aired in April 2012, and the series finale will air in April 2019.
— xoNecole (@xonecole) January 13, 2021
The pilot for Shonda Rhimes’s next series, “How to Get Away with Murder,” was ordered by ABC in December 2013. In February 2014, actress Viola Davis was cast in the starring role. On May 8 of this year, it was officially ordered for a full season. The last season of the ABC drama began on September 26 after being renewed in May 2019.
Rhimes’ future projects will be produced exclusively for Netflix as part of a development pact revealed on August 14, 2017. It’s a multi-year exclusive agreement, and it comes after the streaming service previously purchased the rights to air every previous episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” in the United States.
Originally published in New York Magazine, Jessica Pressler’s “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” will be adapted by Netflix as the first project under the agreement, it was revealed in June 2018. Anna Chlumsky (of “Veep”) will play a journalist (perhaps based on Pressler) who investigates a German heiress (played by “Ozarkbrilliant “‘s Julia Garner) in Rhimes’ “Inventing Anna,” a 10-part series.
The cast also includes Laverne Cox (from “Orange Is the New Black”) and Katie Lowes (from “Scandal”). According to reports, production on “Inventing Anna” began in October 2019, giving the project plenty of time to wrap before the coronavirus pandemic halted filming and television production (and everything else).
Rhimes’s “Bridgerton” will premiere on Netflix in the year 2020. Rhimes and Julie Andrews are reuniting for this show. It’s based on Julia Quinn’s popular books, which depict the cutthroat atmosphere of London’s Regency society.
In June of 2002, Rhimes adopted her first daughter, and in February of 2012, she adopted a second daughter. Rhimes gave birth to her third daughter through surrogacy in September 2013.
Rhimes got an honorary degree from her alma mater, Dartmouth College, in 2014, and she spoke at that year’s commencement ceremony. Using a combination of physical activity and a healthy diet, Rhimes announced in September 2015 that she had shed 117 pounds.
Shonda is emotionally vulnerable when listening to “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. Song played in the “Grey’s Anatomy” episode where Patrick Dempsey’s character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, passes away. That was done on purpose. The episode in question (Season 11, Episode 21) is titled “How To Save a Life,” which also happens to be the name of a song by The Fray.
After Derek died, Rhimes decided at the last minute to replace the music with “Chasing Cars.” The production staff was uncertain if they could alter the tune. Until it aired on the East coast, Rhimes added, we had no idea it was going to happen.
All of post-production was gathered around the tiny monitor down the hall, watching and waiting for the East Coast feed. The moment it happened, there was an audible outburst of joy. Meredith sat by Derek’s side as he was taken off life support as “Chasing Cars” played on the hospital’s sound system.
Contracts and Earnings
Rhimes reportedly inked a $100 million contract with Netflix for four years in 2017. Shonda’s extended tenure at ABC and the success of her series there has helped her increase her wealth. She is not paid a flat rate for all of the episodes she creates, which for Grey’s Anatomy alone totals over 317.
From 2015 to 2018, she earned an average of $10 million from ABC, plus at least 10% of the profits from the syndication and sale of her series to streaming providers. In other words, Rhimes makes around $1 million per episode.
Shonda bought a Tudor-style property in the Los Angeles area of Hancock Park for $4.6 million in 2017. The residence was constructed in the 1920s. Rhimes is making his third move to the neighborhood. This almost 5,000 square foot home features four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms.
In addition to the $8.8 million Mediterranean property she purchased in 2014 from Patricia Heaton, Rhimes has an 8,292 square foot estate she purchased from Beck in 2010 for $5.6 million. Rhimes also has a duplex west of Hancock Park that she purchased for $1.66 million back in 2007.
How Much Is Shonda Rhimes Net Worth?
The $140 million in wealth that Shonda Rhimes currently enjoys is the result of her decades of groundbreaking work in the television industry. Rhimes’s popularity soared after the success of her shows, which led to contracts with networks and, of course, Netflix.