Netflix has unveiled initial details of its first slate of series from Shonda Rhimes’ Shondaland, which signed a high-profile deal with the streaming service nearly a year ago.
The eight projects on the slate include the first series to be created by Rhimes herself since Scandal and another to be created by Mad Men executive producer Janet Leahy, with subjects ranging from gender inclusion and the African-American experience to romance in Regency England. All the series, which currently carry working titles, will premiere exclusively on Netflix around the world.
The Untitled Shonda Rhimes Project will be based on a New York Magazine article about a real-life con woman operating among the party people of Manhattan. Rhimes will create the series and act as executive producer.
Leahy will create and serve as executive producer on Pico & Sepulveda, a drama set in the California of the 1840s as American forces threaten war in the then-Mexican state.
Shondaland’s Untitled Bridgerton Project will be based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling series of novels about the Bridgerton family, offering a feminist take on Regency England romance in London high society. Scandal writer-producer Chris Van Dusen will adapt the novels and serve as executive producer and showrunner of the series.
The Warmth Of Other Suns, will be an adaptation, by playwright Anna Deavere Smith, who will also act as executive producer, of Isabel Wilkerson’s award-winning book about the migration of African-Americans fleeing the Jim Crow South between 1916 and 1970.
Reset: My Fight For Inclusion And Lasting Change will be based on Ellen Pao’s memoir, to which Netflix and Shondaland have bought the rights, about the lawsuit the investor and activist brought against her Silicon Valley employer, a suit that presaged the Time’s Up movement.
Kate Andersen Brower’s non-fiction book about the lives of White House staffers and the First Families they serve will be the basis for The Residence.
Sunshine Scouts will be a dark half-hour comedy series from creator Jill Alexander about an apocalyptic disaster that spares a rag-tag group of teenage girls at a summer camp.
Hot Chocolate Nutcracker will be a behind-the-scenes documentary about the Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s award-winning re-imagining of The Nutcracker. Scandal director and director of photography Oliver Bokelberg will serve as director, cinematographer and producer.
Commenting on the slate, Rhimes said: “I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell, where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement.”
Rhimes’ Shondaland partner Betsy Beers said: “From the world of Regency England all the way to present day Manhattan, we at Shondaland have a wonderful opportunity to explore new worlds and tell these stories in many different ways. We are fortunate to be working with such an inspiring group of talent, including our amazing creative team at Netflix. I could not be more thrilled!”
Netflix vice president of original content Cindy Holland added: “It’s been thrilling to begin this journey with Shonda, Betsy and their team and watch them embrace the full range of creative freedom possible at Netflix. Infused with Shonda’s sensibility, the Shondaland slate is shaping up to be something truly special that we know will delight our members around the world.”