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Top 5 Must-Know Facts About Shonda Rhimes

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Nick Spake
 You might not know her by name, but you’ve certainly heard of her shows! Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy and Off the Map are just some of Shonda Rhimes’ work. Her talent and creativity is off the charts and she’s always on the go working on some project! She was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 People Who Help Shape the World, She wrote two teen comedies in the 2000s including The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Crossroads! Both of which don’t seem like any of Shonda’s work today but she had to start somewhere as a writer!

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Top 5 Facts About Shonda Rhimes

You might not know her by name, but you’ve certainly heard of her shows. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down the Top 5 Facts About Shonda Rhimes.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the five most interesting facts about the successful producer and showrunner behind three hit ABC TV shows.

#5: She's Leaving ABC For Netflix

First reported by The Wall Street Journal, it was recently announced that Shonda is headed to Netflix and will be developing new shows for the popular streaming service. Shonda is best known for her work on the hit ABC dramas “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” which since 2014, have all been part of ABC’s Thursday night TGIT lineup. Although her currently running shows will continue to air on ABC, all new ShondaLand productions will be exclusively for Netflix– ending her company’s 15-year relationship with ABC Studios.

#4: She's a Huge Spelling Bee Nerd

Shonda Rhimes is one seriously smart individual. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, she went in search of her next big challenge. Having read an article in the New York Times claiming that getting into USC film school was more difficult than Harvard Law, she leapt at the opportunity to prove herself. But she’s always been academically minded, claiming to have spent her school years with her nose in books. A self-described “Bee Nerd”, Rhimes has a real passion for Spelling Bees– the Scripps National Spelling Bee in particular. She apparently grew up watching the well-known Bee, and has even live-blogged the event a few times.

#3: She Was Named One of Time Magazine's "100 People Who Help Shape The World"

Every year Time Magazine puts out a list of 100 people who have made a difference in the world. From leaders and revolutionaries to artists and entertainers, the list covers the broad spectrum of humanity. In 2007, Shonda Rhimes’ name made the list. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Barack Obama, and Steve Jobs – Rhimes earned her spot by becoming a diversified and successful leader in the television industry. Written by “Grey’s Anatomy” actress and all around Rhimes lover Sandra Oh, her Time blurb reads, “she went from independent screenwriter and single mom to a public figure, the guiding force and creative engine for more than 200 employees.” That’s a compliment that would make anyone blush.

#2: She Wrote Two Teen Comedies in the Early 2000s

 Today, Rhimes is best known for her incredible work in television. But like all aspiring writers, she had to get her start somewhere. That somewhere was the early 2000s, and the genre was teen comedies. Rhimes was the scribe behind the Britney Spears vehicle “Crossroads”, and also penned the script for “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.” Both films hold a Rotten Tomatoes score below 30%, so let’s just say that they weren’t exactly Oscar contenders. Nonetheless, for Rhimes, they became rungs on a ladder that would eventually lead to network TV heaven and the opportunity to create her own original series.

#1: She Achieved An Impressive Milestone for African American Women

Since its inception, television has been a medium dominated by white males. From writers and producers to actors and talk show hosts – the scales have been tipped unfavorably for years. It is because of this monopoly that it took so long for an African American woman to create and produce a Top 10 network television series, but Shonda Rhimes was the first. Her show, “Grey’s Anatomy”, cracked the illustrious list from 2005 to 2007. At its peak, the show was drawing over 19 million viewers per episode and was featured on numerous top 10 lists of television critics. A veritable powerhouse in the industry, Rhimes’ reputation has only grown over time.

Do you agree with our list? What fun facts do you know about Shonda Rhimes? For more entertaining Top 10s and awesome Top 5’s, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo. 

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