Shonda Rhimes’ Net Worth Includes Her Nine-Figure Netflix Salary For ‘Bridgerton’

Shonda Rhimes
Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP.

With shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Bridgerton on her resume, it makes sense that Shonda Rhimes’ net worth is in the tens of millions.

Rhimes, the youngest of six children from Chicago, Illinois, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in English and film studies. While at Dartmouth, Rhimes wrote for the school newspaper and directed, performed and wrote for the Black Underground Theater Association. After she graduated from Dartmouth, Rhimes moved to Los Angeles to study screenwriting at the University of Southern California. Upon her graduation, Rhimes was hired as an intern for producer Debra Martin Chase, whom she credits for her early success. One of Rhimes’ big breaks came in 2004 when she wrote the Princess Diaries sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, which Chase also produced.

However, it wasn’t until the next year, in 2005, that Rhimes became known as the TV behemoth we recognize her as today. On March 27, 2005, Grey’s Anatomy premiered on ABC. The series, which was executive produced and creates by Rhimes, followed a team of surgical interns, residents and attendings at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital, now known as Grey Sloan Memorial. The series, for which Rhimes won a Golden Globe for, was followed by other Shondaland hits like Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, The Catch and Station 19. In December 2020, Rhimes premiered her first show for Netflix: Bridgerton, a historical drama based on Julia Quinn’s novel series about a fictional upperclass British family known as the Bridgertons. Now that we have her career out of the way, let’s find out about Shonda Rhimes’ net worth.

"Bridgerton" by Julia Quinn Cover

Image: Courtesy of Avon.

How much is Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix deal?

Variety reported in 2017 that Rhimes signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix, which ended her 15-year relationship with her previous network, ABC, where she created shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rhimes signed a four-year contract with Netflix, where she would receive a backend percentage of the shows she creates. It’s unclear how much Rhimes’ Netflix deal is, but reports claimed at the time that Rhimes was paid $100 million for her new contract with the streaming service. At Elle’s Women in Hollywood event in 2018, Rhimes denied the figure. “I am the highest-paid showrunner in television,” she said at the time. Forbes later reported that Rhimes’ deal was worth $150 million.

As for why Rhimes left ABC, The Hollywood Reporter reported in 2020 that Rhimes’ decision to leave came after an ABC executive denied her a free Disneyland pass for her daughter, telling her, “Don’t you have enough?” According to the magazine, Rhimes made $10 million a year from ABC, which tried to negotiate with her before her deal with Netflix. Rhimes also told THR that her decision to leave ABC was due to the long hours and high episode counts of the network’s shows. “I felt like I was dying,” she said at the time. “Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.”

What is Shonda Rhimes’ net worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Rhimes is worth $140 million, which accounts for her nine-figure Netflix deal, as well as the money she made from ABC primetime hits like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and The Catch. Rhimes’ first Netflix show, Bridgerton, premiered in 2020. She’s also confirmed to create at least two more shows: Notes on Love and Inventing Anna.

Bridgerton is available to stream on Netflix. The Bridgerton book series by Julia Quinn is available on Amazon.

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