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Netflix expands pact with Rhimes

Netflix and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes have extended their creative content deal, following the success of Rhimes’ period romantic comedy drama, Bridgerton.

Shonda Rhimes

The newly expanded partnership will give the global streamer and Rhimes’ prodco Shondaland Media the opportunity to exclusively produce, stream and distribute feature films as well as potential gaming and virtual reality content.

The pact currently includes a branding and merchandise deal for Shondaland Media content, which will now add live events and experiences.

Under the extended agreement, Netflix will also provide the financial and technical infrastructure to support Shondaland’s mission to create DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility) programmes that can increase industry workplace representation for underrepresented groups both domestically and in the UK.

As well as Bridgerton, Shondaland Media has produced documentary Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, chronicling the choreographer and director Debbie Allen, for Netflix and upcoming scripted series Inventing Anna, starring Julia Garner and Laverne Cox.

It was also recently announced that Rhimes will write and executive produce a Bridgerton spin-off series based on the origins of Queen Charlotte. An official title and more details will be revealed at a later time.

In further commissioning news, Netflix has greenlit a limited series titled Painkiller following pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma’s role in America’s opioid crisis.

Painkiller will star Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black) and Matthew Broderick (Election, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), as well as West Duchovny, Dina Shihabi and John Rothman.

Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, the duo behind film A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood and Amazon series Transparent, will write, serve as showrunners and executive produce the six-parter.

Alex Gibney will also executive produce Painkiller, along with Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, The Leftovers), who is attached to direct all the episodes of the series.


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