Writer-producer Shonda Rhimes has expanded her deal with Netflix. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
July 9 (UPI) -- Netflix and Shonda Rhimes, producer of the hit costume drama Bridgerton, have announced they are expanding their creative content relationship.
The agreement will include TV, film, gaming and virtual reality projects created for the streaming service by Rhimes, her company, Shondaland, and her longtime producing partner, Betsy Beers.
Netflix also said in a press release it is investing in and providing the financial and technical infrastructure to support Shondaland's mission to create diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility programs that "can increase industry workplace representation for underrepresented groups both domestically and in the United Kingdom."
"When [Netflix Chief Content Officer] Ted [Sarandos] and I decided to break the traditional network TV business model to move Shondaland to Netflix, we were both taking a leap into the unknown," Rhimes said in a statement Thursday.
"Today, Shondaland at Netflix is creatively thriving, profitable as an asset and engaging audiences around the world with stories that fearlessly challenge viewers and keep them highly entertained all at once," she added. "Ted, Bela [Bajaria] and the entire team at Netflix have been tremendous partners during every step of the process, supporting my creative vision and showing a continued dedication to the innovation that has made Netflix such a powerhouse."
Rhimes is a prolific writer and producer whose other credits include Netflix's Inventing Anna and Notes on Love, as well as the ABC shows Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal and Station 19.
Netflix announced its original, multi-year deal with Rhimes in 2017.
"Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television," Sarandos said at the time.
"Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I've gotten the chance to know Shonda, and she's a true Netflixer at heart -- she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work and she delivers for her audience."