Chances are you’re obsessed with one of Shonda Rhimes’ shows, even if you’ve never heard of her. She’s the creative genius behind two of the hottest shows on primetime- Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and is responsible for other well known scripted shows and movies.
Shonda Rhimes was born January 13, 1970, in University Park, Illinois. She is the first African American woman to create and executive-produce a Top 10 network series—Grey’s Anatomy. She is also the creator of its spin-off, Private Practice, and the political drama Scandal.
Rhimes received her BA from Dartmouth College in English literature and creative writing. Soon after, she enrolled in the Writing for Screen & Television program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, earning her MFA.
Her first screenplay never made it to the silver screen but it did lead to her writing the 2002 feature film Crossroads with Britney Spears and The Princess Diaries 2 with Anne Hathaway. Completing the teleplay for HBO’s Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, which was made into a film starring Halle Berry, elevated Rhimes’ status in the business.
While caring for her adopted daughter, she decided to work on a television pilot. The result was the medical drama- Grey’s Anatomy. Premiering in 2005, the show is going into its 10th season in 2013–2014 and won a Golden Globe for Rhimes for Best Television Series—Drama. It also led in 2007 to Rhimes creating the spin-off Private Practice, which lasted for six seasons.
In April of 2012, Rhimes premiered Scandal after Grey’s Anatomy. The show stars Kerry Washington as a fixer in a Washington, D.C., crisis management firm and has plenty of political twists and turns. The show has been a hit and takes over social media every Thursday night.