Shonda Rhimes

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Shonda Rhimes, a prominent television producer and writer, has made a huge impact on the entertainment community with her intense storytelling and dramatic creativity. Often referred to as the most powerful African-American female writer in television, Rhimes captures audiences with her ability to connect her dynamic characters with issues from the real world. When writing for her television shows, Rhimes has said “I don’t understand why people don’t understand that the world of TV should look like the world outside of TV.” This attitude has led Shonda Rhimes to become the first African-American woman to create and executively produce a Top 10 network series with the well-known medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.

Rhimes began her career when she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and film studies from Dartmouth College. After graduating, Rhimes moved to work as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, working on short films and documentaries. Her first big writing jobs include the movie Crossroads, Britney Spears’s debut film, The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. However, Rhimes really made a name for herself when she wrote a pilot for Grey’s Anatomy that was picked up by ABC and took the television world by storm.

Now in the middle of its 12th season and approaching 11 years since its premiere, Grey’s Anatomy has won Rhimes the NAACP Image Award 5 times for Outstanding Drama Series, an award given to recognize people of color in film, television, music, and literature. The show also won a Golden Globe for Rhimes and encouraged her to write a spin-off series Private Practice as well as her other popular shows including Scandal, a political drama and How to Get Away With Murder, a mystery criminal drama. Now, Rhimes dominates Thursday night television with her back-to-back-to-back line up of Grey’s AnatomyScandal, and How to Get Away With Murder for ABC’s TGIT (aka Thank God It’s Thursday because all of Shonda’s shows are playing for 3 hours straight). Shonda Rhimes inspires viewers with her ability to tie in relevant world issues with her diverse characters and dramatic plot lines.

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Shonda Rhimes (in red) and her TGIT actors and actresses

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TGIT poster for Rhimes’ most popular shows