Shonda Rhimes has officially taken over your Thursday nights.
ABC’s new “Thank God It’s Thursday” primetime lineup, which premiered last week and continued Thursday, features three shows produced by Rhimes featuring all female leads: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” This is the first time any writer-producer has had three shows air back-to-back on one network.
The latest addition to the ShondaLand empire, “How to Get Away with Murder” starring Viola Davis, debuted last week to incredibly high ratings and social media buzz.
Rhimes is arguably the most influential producer in the TV world today. Who else has gotten you to actually watch live TV instead of waiting to binge-watch it on Netflix?
By treating every episode like it’s the season finale, Rhimes has made watching TV a social event. Her “Oh-my-God” style of writing means you can’t miss an episode or you’ll be in spoiler-alert hell.
Yes, the storylines are over-the-top and ridiculous, but that’s the charm. Mere plot twists in ShondaLand would be considered awful jump-the-shark moments on any other series. However, the dialogue has always been the real heart and soul that keeps fans around, though.
Rhimes gives her characters incredible monologues where they get to be the strong, confident heroes we all wish we could be. Only in the world of “Grey’s Anatomy” could someone have the guts to say, “Pick me. Choose me. Love me.”
Besides reinventing how we watch TV, Rhimes has also quietly been making sure our screens are more diverse and reflective of the real world.
She’s been careful to not make characters the “token” Asian, black or gay friend. Instead, her characters are fully fleshed out, and their sexuality or race is simply a mere facet of the people they are – not defining traits.
Pour some wine and say cheers because Rhimes is making TV fun again.
2007 WINTER PRESS TOUR - Sunday, January 14, 2007 - Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy") at the Showrunners Session at ABC's 2007 Winter Press Tour at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena, California. (ABC/CRAIG SJODIN)