More ‘Scandal’? ABC President Weighs in on Shonda Rhimes

TCA 2018: “I guess anything is theoretically possible”

Shonda Rhimes
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ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey weighed in on Shonda Rhimes’ move to Netflix, saying that her relationship with the hitmaker is “as strong as it’s ever been.”

“My relationship with Shonda pretty much dates back to my first days in television, because my very, very first assignment was working on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ” Dungey said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. “Our relationship is as strong as it’s ever been. I’m really excited about the three shows we have on the air and the two we’re about to launch.”

Last August, ABC’s most reliable creator jumped ship to sign a rich multi-year deal with Netflix, where she will develop new projects. Rhimes and her company Shondaland remains involved with ABC on her five existing shows, including the upcoming legal drama “For the People” and the untitled “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff.

“I’ve known for a while that Shonda was interested in stretching different sets of creative muscles,” Dungey said. “And I think we know that there are different challenges and opportunities in broadcast and different challenges and opportunities in streaming.

“I wish her all the best as she tries to explore some of those new options.”

With the “Grey’s” spin-off set to launch later this year, Dungey admitted that she doesn’t know what the terms of the Netflix deal would mean for another potential spin-off, with or without Rhimes’ involvement. Or what it would mean for a future revival of “Scandal,” which will conclude its seven-season run in April.

“We haven’t had any of those conversations yet, but what I do know is that we have her services on ‘Grey’s’, the spinoff and the rest of these shows until they finish their runs,” Dungey said. “[But] I don’t know if ‘Scandal’ would be ‘Scandal’ without Shonda to be perfectly honest. It’s so wrapped up in her DNA.”

When pressed on if more “Scandal” is possible down-the-line, Dungey hedged: “I guess anything is theoretically possible.”