Shonda Rhimes Extends ABC Contract To 2018

Looks like Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes will call ABC home for another four years. The show runner, who is responsible for hits such as Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal, is currently the network’s cash cow after her political drama starring Kerry Washington is garnering an enormous buzz and fan base that her first series Grey’s was pulling in back in the day.

The New York Times is reporting that on the heels of ABC’s upfront announcement, ABC also let advertisers know that viewers can expect more from Shonda Rhimes in the future. To start things off, ABC is kicking off a whole night dedicated to Shonda Rhimes’ television programming. Thursday prime time line up will belong to Rhimes as far as ABC is concerned.

Grey’s Anatomy will settle for its new 8 p.m. slot to make way for Scandal, which will be on at 9 p.m. These two veteran shows are making way for Shonda Rhimes’ newest hopeful hit called How to Get Away With Murder starring Academy Award nominated actress Viola Davis. The accomplished actress is set to play Annalise DeWitt, the law professor and criminal defense lawyer and is described as “brilliant, passionate, creative, charismatic, and ruthless.” Basically, she sounds like the greatest person alive, which isn’t hard to believe with Davis in the lead role.

Rhimes’ How to Get Away With Murderis described as:

“The sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller centers on ambitious law students and their brilliant and mysterious criminal defense professor who become entangled in a murder plot that could rock their entire university and change the course of their lives.”

That said, it’s not all good news for Shonda Rhimes. Despite her major success at ABC over the last decade, Rhimes is now being sued by someone who claims that she stole an original idea for a failed television show.

A struggling writer named Debra Feldman is claiming that Rhimes read through her manuscript The Red Tattoo and turned that into her failed ABC series Off the Map. For those who don’t remember, Off the Map was a 2011 series about U.S. doctors working in a remote South American village. It wasn’t the success that ABC hoped it would be so they axed it, and then along came Scandal and all was right with the world, except for the fact that Feldman noticed similarities.

In her lawsuit, the writer claims that Rhimes ripped off her manuscript. When TMZ contacted Rhimes representatives for a comment, they released a quick statement that squashed this from having any merit:

“It is our policy not to comment on frivolous claims.”

Hopefully, this will be the end of Rhimes’ problems and the start of an even better new beginning.

[Image via Rena Schild /]