Shonda Rhimes On Success, Creativity & Why She Ignores Ratings


Shonda Rhimes

Mega TV producer, writer and executive producer Shonda Rhimes is known for her TGT line up on ABC with television shows Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder and new addition, The Catch. And her empire keeps getting bigger. During a recent interview with Ad Age, she discusses her growth, why she doesn’t pay attention to ratings and how Netflix and Hulu have helped her shows. Peep a few excerpts.

On being noticed in public:

I go to the grocery store, and at almost every point I find a group of 12- or 13-year-old girls staring at me.

On taking her talents outside of traditional TV:

Network television has obviously been very good to me and I love it, but there are a million other ways to tell stories now that are out there that are fascinating and I think monetizable and audiences can get really excited about.

On finding shows that fit into the “Shondaland’’ brand:

It has been really important to find shows that feel like our brand, that sound like our brand, because I want audiences to continue to depend on the fact that if it is a Shondaland show, they know what they are getting. You are not going to wonder what this is going to be and be really disappointed because we have jumped outside the box.

Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes

On her success:

I honestly feel like I’ve kept doing things pretty much the same way, The secret sauce of the business that I can offer is my creativity, and in order to keep my creativity alive and fresh … I have to pretend that no one is watching the show, that there are no audiences, there are no ratings, I’m just telling a story.

On not paying attention to ratings:

I stopped paying attention to the ratings, I would say, maybe a year into ‘Grey’s’ when I realized I have no control over the ratings.

On how Netflix and Hulu help with the success of her shows:

The show’s success owes in large part to a new generation of fans discovering the series on Netflix and Hulu. Viewers as young as 12- or 13- years-old, who weren’t even born when the show started, are watching over 200 episodes to catch up and then tuning in live on.

On being a television network executive:

I can’t ever say never, but right now I can’t imagine the idea of wanting to go work at a network because I don’t want to get behind a desk all day. That is not really where my passion lies.

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Authored by: Kellie Williams