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Netflix expands Shonda Rhimes deal to movies, games, live events

(File photo)

Netflix Inc announced an expanded creative deal with prolific producer Shonda Rhimes, adding feature films, gaming, merchandise, and live events to their collaboration.

Under the accord, Netflix will also invest in and provide financial and technical support for diversity and inclusion efforts at Rhimes’s company Shondaland, the parties said Thursday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Shonda Rhimes (Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Shondaland’s Bridgerton, a historical drama, delivered one of the most-watched shows ever on Netflix, seen by 82 million member households in its first four weeks, the streaming service said. It is becoming the basis for a series of projects, in much the same way Hollywood studios build franchises around superheroes and other characters.

Future projects include three more seasons of Bridgerton and a new series, Inventing Anna, which is being produced by Rhimes and her long-standing production partner Betsy Beers, who is also participating in the expanded deal.

Prior to partnering with Netflix, Rhimes produced some of the most-watched shows on Walt Disney Co’s ABC network including Grey’s Anatomy.