If you have been sitting in front of your TV with popcorn and a glass of red wine every Thursday night, chances are you’re a fan of Shonda Rhimes and her TV lineup. Rhimes is the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and Private Practice. She is also the executive producer of the hit TV show How To Get Away With Murder, which was created by Peter Nowalk.
But the real question is, how much is this writing genius worth?
Shonda Rhimes’ estimated Net Worth as of 2018: $120 million
Before Rhimes became the center of attention on Thursday nights, she was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 13, 1970. There was no question of Rhimes dropping out of high school or not going to college because her mother was a university administrator and her father was a professor. When she attended high school, Rhimes volunteered at a local hospital. The hospital environment, with its comings and goings, peaked her interest and because of that, Grey’s Anatomy was born 35 years later.
After high school, Rhimes entered college. She enrolled at Dartmouth College where she engaged in acting and directing besides her normal courses in English. Writing for the college newspaper provided her with snippets into everyday situations. Rhimes graduated Dartmouth College with her Bachelor’s in English and film.
Moving from Illinois to sunny San Francisco, she picked up a job in advertising. She landed her first job with McCann Erickson, which was one of the largest advertising firms at the time.
A few years later, Rhimes realized she did not want to remain in advertising. So, she enrolled back into college and at the University of Southern California, she studied screenwriting where her passion for acting and directing flourished. In school, she got the amazing opportunity to intern at Mundy Lane Entertainment.
Rhimes wasn’t immediately successful after she graduated at the top of her class from USC in 1991 with her Master’s in fine arts. She wrote a pilot for a television show that was based on young women war correspondents and pitched it to ABC. However, ABC turned it down. Rhimes did not give up on her dream to write a successful TV show as she continued working with ABC.
While Rhimes was still working with ABC, she developed Grey’s Anatomy, which follows Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, on her journey to become a doctor. To say the show is universally loved by the viewers and the critics would be the understatement of the year. Grey’s Anatomy is not a stranger to being nominated and winning awards. The show has been nominated for 25 Emmys, and the cast has also been nominated for a dozen more awards.
2007 – 2013
Determined not to be a one-hit wonder, Rhimes did not stop at Grey’s Anatomy. She launched a similar show called Private Practice in 2007, which followed Addison Montgomery, who is played by Kate Walsh, as she moved from Seattle to Los Angeles to work at a private firm. This show didn’t get as much love as Grey’s Anatomy, so it sadly reached its series finale in 2013.
As her hit show Grey’s Anatomy gained an enormous following on social media, Rhimes focused on creating another show for ABC. In 2011, Scandal became part of the ABC lineup. The show Scandal follows Olivia Pope, who is played by Kerry Washington, working in Washington D.C as a crisis manager dealing with political scandals.
Rhimes’ TV shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal have quickly become the most engaging shows on television. The cast of each show live tweets with its fans as each episode is airing every Thursday evening.
2014 – 2016
In 2014, Rhimes partnered with Peter Nowalk, to launch another fan favorite show: How To Get Away With Murder. This show is based on a professor of defense law who is also a criminal defense attorney named Annalise Keating, played by Viola Davis. Annalise Keating picks five students from her class to assist at her law firm with Keating’s employees by their side-helping them crack the tough cases.
Fans opened their hearts for this show and immediately fell in love with it. No questions asked, this show soon became part of the famous TGIT lineup on ABC.
Rhimes created another show called The Catch, which aired in 2016. Unfortunately, it was not one of her most engaging television shows and therefore was canceled in the second season. Another series that was canceled too soon was Still Star-Crossed, which was announced in 2016, premiered on May 29, 2017, and was quickly given the axe after the first season. Still Star-Crossed was a sequel of Romeo and Juliet’s love story.
Not only does Rhimes write fantastic television, she also wrote her own book. Her book was released on November 10, 2015. Her book is called Year of Yes, which is about her saying ‘yes’ to everything: interviews, Hollywood parties, speaking engagement, etc. Being unmarried with three children at home, it was a lot easier to turn down every invitation she received, but she decided to step out of her comfort zone and it certainly paid off.
2017 – Present
While Rhimes is writing up a storm in her office for old and new television shows that are currently in the works, she just launched her own website called “Shondaland.” The essence of the site is about exploring the possibilities of storytelling.
Rhimes is killing it on television with her top series and the two new series about to join the ABC lineup. Her TGIT series includes Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder. She also has two new series set to debut: a Grey’s Anatomy spinoff. (Yes! You heard that correctly!), and a new legal drama called For The People.
The Grey’s Anatomy spinoff is set to take place in a Seattle firehouse. It will follow heroic firefighters, like the captain of the fire station and its newest recruits. We will see brave men and women jump into fires when they are on duty and ruin relationships when they are off duty. It will make its debut midseason 2018. This new series has yet to be named. The new legal drama series, For The People, will make its debut sometime next year also.
We definitely haven’t heard the last from Shonda. She may be just getting started.
Shonda Rhimes left ABC for Netflix, but according to ABC boss Channing Dungey, their relationship is still strong and intact.