Everything We Know

Everything We Know About Shonda Rhimes' Netflix Shows: ‘This is Shondaland 2.0’

Scandal in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, dark comedies, historical dramas, and a doc from a Shondaland fave.

by | July 20, 2018 | Comments

(Photo by Photo By: Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection)

Netflix announced its first planned series with Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers’ Shondaland on Friday, and judging from the show descriptions, we should expect a lot of drama and another dose of Scandal, in that a couple of these projects involve alums of that Kerry Washington–starring political drama.

“I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell, where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement,” Rhimes said in a statement, adding that Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, his vice president of original content Cindy Holland, “and everyone at Netflix have been incredible partners in making that happen. This is Shondaland 2.0.”

So, what exactly, does Shondaland 2.0 look like?


Rhimes herself is creating and exec-producing a new series based on the New York magazine story about con artist Anna Delvey.

Remember that viral story about a young and posh 20-something who duped Manhattan’s elite (even one Vanity Fair staffer) into believing she was an heiress? Well, according to the press release, Shonda’s going to make us wonder again if “she[’s] the stuff American dreams are made of or is she New York’s biggest con woman?” and “is it a con if you enjoy being taken?” The New York article mentioned Delvey’s penchant for shopping fancy designers like Acne and Rick Owens. Is it too much to hope that Scandal costume designer Lyn Paolo, who was known for dressing Washington in sleek labels like Burberry, might return to the Shondaland fold for this as-yet-to-be titled story?


One of the series will be an historic romance with a feminist spin.

Can one be an Anglophile and wear a pink hat? Chris Van Dusen, who is an alum of the Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal writers’ rooms, and therefore knows a ton about steamy trysts, is adapting author Julia Quinn’s best-selling Bridgerton book series. The still-untitled series is described as a “smart, feminist take on Regency England romance [that] unveils the glittering, wealthy, sexual, painful, funny, and sometimes lonely lives of the women and men in London’s high society marriage mart.” Hopefully it’ll fare better than Still Star-Crossed, another Shondaland-produced period romance that only lasted one season and has a 42% Tomatometer score.


Anna Deavere Smith is making a TV show based on the Great Migration.

(Photo by Photo By: Jason Mendez/Everett Collection)

The esteemed playwright, who also appears in Shondaland’s ABC drama For the People, is adapting author Isabel Wilkerson’s best-selling historical non-fiction The Warmth of Other Suns into a series that the press release promises will track “the decades-long migration of African-Americans fleeing the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in the North and the West between 1916 and 1970.”


There’s another historical drama and this one’s set in California.

Mad Men and Gilmore Girls alum Janet Leahy is creating a series currently titled Pico & Sepulveda, which is set in the 1840s when the state we now associate with Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the beach was then part of Mexico. The press release says it will follow “the end of an idyllic era there as American forces threaten brutality and war at the border to claim this breathtaking land for its own” and sounds like an excellent companion for those who enjoyed the Netflix miniseries Godless (which has an 89% Fresh Tomatometer score).


There’s also a dark comedy set at a summer camp.

(Photo by Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection)

Writer-actress Jill Alexander – you know her as the oft-fired Hooli staffer Patrice from HBO’s Silicon Valley – is creating this half-hour series currently titled Sunshine Scouts. The plot sounds ideal for anyone who enjoys Netflix’s teen-focused dark comedies like American Vandal (98% on the Tomatometer): “An apocalyptic disaster spares a rag-tag group of teenage girls at sleep-away camp who must then summon their moxie and survival skills to weather the fallout and ensure all that remains of humanity abides by the Sunshine Scout Law.”


They’re also adapting Ellen Pao’s Silicon Valley–set tell-all.

Netflix and Shondaland have acquired the rights to Ellen Pao’s groundbreaking memoir detailing her life and career, including the lawsuit she brought against her former employer that triggered lasting media attention to sexism in Silicon Valley and foreshadowed the Time’s Up movement (in which Rhimes and Beers have both been active). Netflix has yet to announce a head writer or an official title.


Scandal might be over, but Shondaland hasn’t left Washington.

Also on the docket for an adaptation: Kate Anderson Brower’s non-fiction book, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House. While a head writer has not been named and the series does not have an official title, we are told that the series will follow in the footsteps of Brower’s book and give an “accurate insider’s account of White House residence staffers and the upstairs downstairs lives they share with the First Families at one of the most famous homes in history.”


And, of course, there’s a dance documentary featuring the talents of Shondaland fave Debbie Allen.

(Photo by ©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Tentatively titled Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, this documentary will go behind the scenes of the Grey’s Anatomy star’s (and frequent Shondaland series director) infamous Debbie Allen Dance Academy as they reimagine the classic ballet The Nutcracker with an inclusive cast and a blend of dance traditions. Oliver Bokelberg, who was the directing producer on Scandal, will serve as director, cinematographer, and producer.

Tag Cloud

Cosplay TV YouTube Summer Character Guide First Look Captain marvel robots National Geographic diversity game of thrones Pirates Mary Poppins Returns festivals Fall TV Film Festival teaser Binge Guide sitcom Tomatazos American Society of Cinematographers NYCC talk show Infographic SDCC 21st Century Fox animated Biopics Certified Fresh Super Bowl PBS HBO Max comics harry potter miniseries Video Games docudrama TV Land blaxploitation Vudu DirecTV series USA Elton John travel werewolf PaleyFest Pop TCM IFC Films Ellie Kemper mutant ABC Family war ABC spy thriller Rock Kids & Family Premiere Dates Ovation Quiz A24 renewed TV shows Marvel Song of Ice and Fire Netflix spain blockbuster hispanic nature Women's History Month VICE Oscars Pride Month Dark Horse Comics dragons WarnerMedia Mindy Kaling serial killer cooking VH1 revenge Star Trek TruTV Martial Arts casting foreign Christmas political drama DC Universe Food Network FOX MSNBC spider-man RT21 Fox News crime thriller boxoffice Nat Geo elevated horror Hallmark Christmas movies The Walking Dead 45 Sci-Fi christmas movies Stephen King TLC New York Comic Con latino Calendar Apple TV+ Britbox Crackle Marvel Television aliens TCA cancelled FXX Countdown BBC adventure theme song Tumblr cops YouTube Premium thriller FX Star Wars award winner RT History strong female leads Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt quibi SundanceTV Columbia Pictures dramedy Logo Podcast LGBT Rocky disaster Bravo zero dark thirty Rocketman rotten movies we love discovery Superheroe Toys Pet Sematary Box Office cartoon Drama 2019 NBC Writers Guild of America Anna Paquin golden globes Emmys Warner Bros. IFC jamie lee curtis Creative Arts Emmys technology canceled Action The Witch Esquire space 2017 The Arrangement canceled TV shows versus Cartoon Network Amazon ESPN Lionsgate Winners Musicals Disney Plus USA Network Marvel Studios First Reviews BBC America 2015 CBS All Access Election anime YA science fiction Showtime Brie Larson Shondaland Adult Swim CMT cats LGBTQ Mudbound cults Winter TV television adaptation The CW Classic Film police drama Grammys transformers Mary poppins Amazon Prime Video Black Mirror justice league richard e. Grant See It Skip It CW Seed Mystery Comics on TV politics Hallmark Photos OWN Marathons hist Netflix Christmas movies MTV historical drama crossover Interview Tarantino sports joker cinemax comiccon Nickelodeon CBS south america game show Holiday ratings Comedy Central TBS breaking bad Red Carpet witnail Crunchyroll Amazon Prime supernatural President Superheroes Horror Trophy Talk Ghostbusters slashers Lifetime Lifetime Christmas movies children's TV AMC independent BET Spectrum Originals Peacock crime 2016 Paramount Network Sneak Peek composers what to watch dc screenings cars Turner CNN Schedule kids DC Comics facebook Country TIFF El Rey sequel Nominations period drama Heroines psychological thriller stand-up comedy medical drama toy story biography Thanksgiving HBO GIFs natural history cancelled television Sundance mockumentary 71st Emmy Awards true crime green book History crime drama Trivia Walt Disney Pictures Acorn TV GLAAD psycho Cannes Arrowverse GoT social media Fantasy Chilling Adventures of Sabrina E! Hulu ghosts vampires binge streaming Year in Review batman comic Set visit Lucasfilm Disney streaming service zombie Disney+ Disney Plus Spike Masterpiece tv talk 2018 The Purge Epix romantic comedy Apple Animation halloween ITV Music DC streaming service 007 Starz APB X-Men Television Academy anthology indie Holidays Sony Pictures Paramount spanish language book doctor who Comedy finale DGA video Pixar MCU Apple TV Plus cancelled TV shows cancelled TV series based on movie Extras Freeform Rom-Com spinoff free movies Syfy Polls and Games E3 Turner Classic Movies Spring TV Valentine's Day Disney Channel Family Awards Chernobyl 24 frames TCA 2017 Reality Competition Best and Worst Musical movies dceu Sundance Now romance Reality Teen WGN Watching Series unscripted Emmy Nominations Comic Book 20th Century Fox singing competition zombies SXSW Trailer A&E TV renewals Opinion San Diego Comic-Con Mary Tyler Moore Awards Tour Universal YouTube Red Shudder Western Disney Film TNT