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“ABC its not us, it’s you.” That’s probably what showrunner Shonda Rhimes probably said when she announced she was taking Shondaland to Netflix to create more original content for the streaming network!

Yep, you read right ABC and Shonda Rhimes have parted ways! This definitely comes as a shock, especially since Grey’s Anatomy is still the highest-rated show on the network.

via THR:

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Under the multiple-year deal, Rhimes and her Shondaland banner will create and produce new projects for the streaming giant. Rhimes’ longtime producing partner Betsy Beers will continue to head Shondaland in the move to Netflix. Under what is said to be a rich four-year pact, Rhimes is expected to score a percentage of the back-end on programming she creates for Netflix. 

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. “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. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”

The move further aligns Rhimes with Netflix, which has featured the Grey’s Anatomy library that has helped elevate the veteran ABC medical soap to become the network’s most-watched drama — a rare feat for a show in its 13th season. The series heads into season 14 in the fall as it sets its sights on being the longest-running medical drama on television alongside ER. 

“Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” Rhimes said. “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for — the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.”

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ABC will continue to remain home to Grey’s Anatomy and its upcoming spinoff as well as Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder as well as the forthcoming drama For the People. Rhimes had been with ABC Studios for 15 years.

“Our current shows will continue to thrive on ABC and Shondaland will be there every step of the way,” Rhimes said. “I could not have asked for a better home to begin my career. I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people — especially our studio gladiator Patrick Moran and our most powerful and brilliant champion Channing Dungey. Starting today, we are thrilled to begin creating new Shondaland stories with Netflix. Everyone at Shondaland is honored to expand both our audience and our creative identity with Ted and the entire team at Netflix.”

ABC Studios will remain the home to Shondaland disciples Pete Nowalk (How to Get Away With Murder), Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy), Stacy McKee (the Grey’s spinoff), Don Todd and Paul William Davies (For the People), Mark Fish (Scandal), Mark Wilding (Grey’s spinoff), Bill Harper (Grey’s Anatomy) and Allan Heinberg.

“We’re so proud of the work we’ve done with Shonda and Betsy throughout our long and productive relationship. From the worldwide success of Grey’s Anatomy to today, with five series, a pilot from Allan Heinberg and a number of projects in development, we will continue to shepherd that success together,” ABC Studios president Moran said. “The Shondaland imprint will always be an important part of ABC Studios and we wish them all the best in this new endeavor.”

Added ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, who previously headed drama at the network: “Shonda, Betsy and I started working together with the first episode of Grey’s Anatomy and those early days will forever remain one of the highlights of my professional life. We are happy to continue working with Shonda and her team at Shondaland on Grey’s, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder and the upcoming For the People and Grey’s spinoff. I’m proud to have given a home to what have become some of the most celebrated and talked about shows on television. With the launch of a new season upon us, fans can rest assured that TGIT remains intact and will be as buzzed about as ever.”

Sources say Rhimes had been renegotiating her overall deal with ABC Studios for the past few months. That the prolific producer would exit the network’s studio sibling comes as a blow for broadcast and a hint of things to come in the arms race for talent. With more than 455 scripted originals, broadcast, cable and streaming platforms are turning to proven hit-makers like Rhimes for new material. Rhimes is the first African-American woman to notch the rare 100-episode milestone three times in her career (for Grey’s, Private Practice and Scandal). 

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For Rhimes, it gives the star showrunner a new forum to tell richer stories that push the envelope as she has yet to explore the cable or streaming world. Scandal further solidified Rhimes as one of TV’s most powerful showrunners and helped ABC bolster its Thursday lineup. With the strength of Scandal and emergence of How to Get Away With Murder, the network moved Grey’s Anatomy to its formerly troubled 8 p.m. hour as it created a “TGIT”-branded night consisting of three Rhimes-produced dramas. Creatively, Scandal helped usher in a new era of diversity on the small screen when Rhimes cast Kerry Washington as fixer Olivia Pope. Washington picked up her first Emmy nomination in 2013 and became the first African American to be nominated for best drama actress in the past 18 years and fifth overal

The Rhimes deal — the streamer’s first overall — comes as free-spending Netflix has been aggressive when it comes to luring top talent. Last week, the streamer picked up a talk show hosted by David Letterman and acquired comic book publisher Millarworld as it pushes to own more of its content. (Last week, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman moved from his home at AMC to Amazon under a rich overall deal as the streamer retail giant begins to do the same.)

I think I’ll be keeping my Netflix subscription now!

Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning

michael j. fanning owner of hey mikey atl

Follow me on Twitter/IG @HeyMikeyATL

Television & Radio

Donald Faison Cast as “Professor Utonium” in Live Action “Power Puff Girls!”

Donald Faison has found his latest role as “Professor Utonium,” the creator/father of “The Power Puff Girls” in The CW’s forthcoming live action series, “Power Puff.”

“Power Puff” will show the girls as disillusioned twentysomethings, resentful of having spent their childhoods fighting crime. However, new threats to the world may force them once again to band together.

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donald faison professor utonium power puff

Donald Faison has found his latest role as “Professor Utonium,” the creator/father of “The Power Puff Girls” in The CW’s forthcoming live action series, “Power Puff.”

“Power Puff” will show the girls as disillusioned twentysomethings, resentful of having spent their childhoods fighting crime. However, new threats to the world may force them once again to band together.

donald faison professor utonium power puff

Donald Faison is best known for his comedic performances in hit series like Clueless and Scrubs. His casting comes as a surprise to many, especially since Professor Utonium is literally a square-jawed Caucasian man. In “Power Puff” Faison’s Utonium will be middle aged, and although very proud of his girls, desperately trying his best to repair his relationships with his now adult daughters.

professor utonium

Professor Utonium using “sugar, spice, and everthing nice”

As you may recall, from the original cartoon series from the nineties brought to fame on Cartoon Network, Professor Utonium accidentally created The Power Puff Girls–Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup–when he accidentally mixed in the mysterious substance, “Chemical X,”while mixing in “sugar, spice, and everything nice” to create “the perfect little girl.” The Professor then took to raising the girls as well as being their mentor.

The reception of Faison’s casting has been met with mixed responses on social media; with some fans praising the news and others already trashing the show:

Alongside Faison’s casting, it was announced earlier this month that Chloe Bennet, Dove Cameron, and Yana Perrault will take on the roles of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, respectively. There is currently no word on casting for other characters in the series like The Mayor, Miss Bellum, Mojo JoJo, Fuzzy Lumpkins, Him, Princess, or The Rowdy Ruff Boys.

“Power Puff” marks one of the few superhero series on The CW not connected to its famous interconnected series based on DC Comics superheroes known collectively as “The Arrowverse” (Superman & Lois, Supergirl, The Flash, Batwoman, Black Lightning, DC’s The Legends of Tomorrow, and Stargirl) The new series will premiere this upcoming Fall on The CW.

 

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Television & Radio

Jordan Fisher Cast as “Bart Allen/Impulse” in The CW’s “The Flash!”

The CW’s hit series, “The Flash” has cast Jordan Fisher as “Bart Allen” in their latest season coinciding with the series’ 150th episode anniversary.

Bartholomew “Bart” Allen, in the television series, is the son of Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton). Like his father he is a speedster, but hails from the future, fighting crime alongside The Flash as “Impulse.”

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jordan fisher cast as bart allen impulse

The CW’s hit series, “The Flash” has cast Jordan Fisher as “Bart Allen” in their latest season coinciding with the series’ 150th episode anniversary.

Bartholomew “Bart” Allen, in the television series, is the son of Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton). Like his father he is a speedster, but hails from the future, fighting crime alongside The Flash as “Impulse.”

jordan fisher cast as bart allen impulse

The Flash (Barry Allen) and Iris West-Allen

Bart’s appearance marks the second of The Flash’s future children to visit them in the past; the first being Nora Allen, their daughter in Season 6 of the series. Actor Jordan Fisher is best known for his roles in “Grease: Live,” To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved: P.S. I Still Love You,” and Disney’s “Teen Beach Movie.” This also marks the first time an African-American has portrayed the character.

In the comics, however, Bart is not The Flash’s son, but his grandson, being the son of Meloni Thawn and Don Allen, the latter being The Flash’s son and one of The Tornado Twins, twin speedsters with powers similar to their father’s. Bart grows up to become the second Kid Flash and the fourth Flash  There is currently no word on why The CW’s version of the character does not have the same origins.

jordan fisher

Jordan Fisher

Fan response to Fisher’s casting has been largely positive, however:

Jordan Fisher’s casting only confirms The CW’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity, as it found itself re-examining its policies and show castings following issues on “Riverdale.”

As you may recall, the show was riddled with accusations of racism by Riverdale actress, Vanessa Morgan, for its mishandling of Black characters by writing them off, paying them less than their White co-stars, and making Black characters “sidekicks.” The network responded adding more Black characters to various shows and will try not underutilize black characters or portray them as criminals.

The air date for Jordan Fisher’s debut as “Bart Allen/Impulse” has yet to be announced.

 

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Television & Radio

“Batwoman” Reportedly Canceled After Season 3, Javicia Leslie To Return

The days of Gotham City’s “Scarlet Knight,” are numbered. It is being reported The CW’s “Batwoman” is being canceled after its third upcoming season.

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batwoman javicia leslie

The days of Gotham City’s “Scarlet Knight,” are numbered. It is being reported The CW’s “Batwoman” is being canceled after its third upcoming season.

batwoman ruby rose and javicia leslie

Ruby Rose as “Batwoman” and Javicia Leslie

“Batwoman,” as you may recall initially starred Ruby Rose as “Kate Kane,” making history as television’s first lesbian led superhero series. It entailed Batwoman taking on her demented twin sister, Alice, as she attempts to destroy Gotham City. However, in a surprise move, Ruby resigned after the first season of the series, and was subsequently replaced with African-American actress, Javicia Leslie as “Ryan Wilder.”

Although fans and the public have largely embraced Javicia as the new Batwoman, the ratings for the second series have been abysmal. Many blame Ruby’s departure and the recasting of the role with a Black actress instead of another Caucasian one as the lead.

Javicia leslie as batwoman

Reaction to the cancellation news has been mixed with some fans outraged. Not only did League take away Lux’s BA Animations from me today but I’m finding out [The] CW wants to cancel Batwoman after  S3 [Season 3] too???? What the actual f**k? How do they expect me to live without Alice?”@ENTIR3HEARTS tweeted. While others felt the show’s cancellation is overdue. @itisrealz tweeted “Showing men of color in a negative light is not bad at all, they’re being treated like any other white villain character and not made to feel special or cringey unlike ‘Batwoman’ that thinks Black people are something special when they’re just humans.”

Despite the series’ impending demise, sources are reporting this will not be the end of Javicia Leslie as the famed vigilante, instead she will make appearances in other surviving “CWverse” shows (a network of other intertwined superhero based series on The CW, creating a television “multiverse” similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

Currently, neither The CW or any member of the Batwoman cast have released any official statement on the cancellation reports on the series.

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