A few days ago Shonda Rhimes, producer of just about every show on ABC, participated in the recent round of TED talks in Vancouver BC. TED stand for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the talks cover just about every conceivable topic, my personal favorite is about how being an introvert is perfectly OK even when everyone is telling you isn’t.
Shonda’s talk was about her year of saying Yes to everything; as the TED website described it:
Shonda Rhimes, the titan behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. “When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling,” she says. She has a name for this feeling: The hum. The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God’s whisper in her ear. But what happens when it stops? Is she anything besides the hum? In this moving talk, join Rhimes on a journey through her “year of yes” and find out how she got her hum back.
Even if you don’t watch Shonda Rhimes’s shows, you have to agree that she has done a lot for diversity on TV. For her efforts she was awarded the Producers Guild’s Norman Lear Award for Achievement in Television Saturday night. Her acceptance speech was nothing short of EPIC. I have not been able to find a video of the complete speech, but here are some highlights I have managed to cull from various sources:
“It’s not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is. Women are smart and strong. They are not sex toys or damsels in distress. People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise. And, believe me, people of color are never anybody’s sidekick in real life.
Shonda Rhimes is moving forward with her plot for world domination by teaming up the legendary producer Norma Lear for the documentary series America Divided.
The series will premier on Epix in the fall. Every episode will focus on a different social issue and each documentary will be hosted by different people. For example, America Ferrera take a look at the issues around access to the ballot and healthcare for poor women in Texas while Common will look at disparities in the criminal justice system.
According to Shonda’s statement:
“The promise of the American dream was a united country where everyone is treated equal. That promise has clearly been broken; all you have to do is look around to see that our reality has been built on the back of inequality. It’s my hope that this series will inspire audiences to be part of a change that leads us into a stronger, more equal future.”
Sounds intriguing. I have a feeling Trump supporters won’t be fans.
Like General Sherman burning a path through the South, Shonda Rhimes is marching through ABC’s schedule, burning it to the ground, and taking over. So far she has 3 shows tearing up the network, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder. She has another show, The Catch, premiering at mid-season. She has 3 pilots on order for next season, a divorce comedy, a drama about nuns in a convent and another drama about soldiers in Iraq. Now news comes that she has sold a 4th show to ABC.
Sill Star-Crossed will follow the families of Romeo and Juliet in the aftermath of their teenager’s suicides. Apparently, the conflict did not end with the deaths of the star-crossed lovers. Shonda herself is writing the pilot, and we all know how well she does angst!
As far anyone knows, there are no plans to rename ABC, The Shonda Channel, but the TV season is still young, just sayin’.
Do not stand in front of the train that is Shondaland, it will run your butt over. Shonda Rhimes’s winning streak continues with yet another new new show coming to ABC. The laest show is about doctors in Baghdad during the war trying to save the lives of wounded soldiers. Get this, the script is being written by Zoanne Clack, current producer of Grey’s Anatomy and a former ER doctor. Sounds like it could pretty authentic.
As Shonda Tells it, the one good thing that came out of that mess was the backlash against it.
“Very quickly, maybe because of Twitter, there were some really beautiful articles written in response that made me feel like, ‘Oh my god, there are some thinking people out there!’”
As you might recall the Times article didn’t stop at throwing racist stereotypes at Shonda in a a pathetic attempt to praise her. the piece also dragged Viola as “less classically beautiful”. As you can imagine, Viola doesn’t sit still for that:
“There were lot of things that people did not allow me to be until I got [the role of] Annalise Keating,” she explained. “I was not able to be sexualized. Ever. In my entire career. And here’s the thing that’s even more potent: I’ve never seen anyone who even looks like me be sexualized on television or in film. Ever. When people say they’re tired of hearing that, I always say, ‘Okay, well, you give me an example and then I’ll stop talking about it. But I’m gonna talk about it until you hear it.’”
If you want to be depressed, here’s a link to the Times piece. Try to keep in mind while reading it that the author actually thought she was complimenting Shonda. I wonder what she does to people she doesn’t like? shudder
According to Variety, The Guild’s Amy Okuda is heading to HTGAWM this season for a recurring role. Her storyline is being kept hush-hush for now, but knowing Shonda Rhimes, it’s sure to be something juicy and exciting.
In addition to the Splitsville comedy, Shonda Rhimes is developing for ABC that we previously told you about, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that she is also developing another new hour long drama for the network. The drama takes place in a Bronx Convent that is facing closure when three new novices arrive and long buried secrets see the light of day.