When Shonda Rhimes left ABC for Netflix four years ago, she snagged a nine-figure deal, and the move was considered a serious effort on the streamer’s part to grow the quality of its content.
Now, it seems the media maven is renegotiating the terms of her deal following the massive success of her first project, Bridgerton, which became the streamer’s most-watched original show ever. The July 8 deal will keep her at Netflix for five more years, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sources tell the mag that she snagged a “significant” up-front raise from the $100 million-$150 million initial pact she inked in 2017, with bonuses that could increase its value to up to $400 million, in the range of fellow super-producers like Ryan Murphy.
Bridgerton has been renewed through its fourth season, with a spinoff led by Rhimes in the works.
“Netflix is nascently exploring all this stuff and they understand that growing in areas that are non-competitive but additive on multiple levels — there’s revenue in marketing and creating shows/movies and events — is good for everybody,” notes one source familiar with the streamer’s strategy. “They’re going to spend time and money figuring that out. And they want to do that in partnership with great creators who have an acute understanding of these worlds.”
While Rhimes is clearly in Netflix’s good graces, Murphy may be missing the mark.
“Netflix wishes that Ryan did stuff that felt more special,” says one agency source. “He makes noise but none of the shows are sticky.”