Her compelling characters, multifaceted shows, and binge-worthy series have been keeping us glued to our screens while raking in awards along the way. Rhimes is truly a trailblazer in the television industry, building her own empire, and continuously leaving an indelible impact on the TV scene.
While we wait for Shondaland’s next big hit, let’s look back at her most iconic shows and even some hidden gems that new viewers might have missed. So, here’s a quick rundown of Rhimes’ top ten hits that have undeniably shaped her legacy in the television industry.
10. Still Star-Crossed (2017)
ABC’s Still Star-Crossed series delves into the aftermath of Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. The series follows Juliet’s cousin Rosaline, played by the compelling Lashana Lynch, as she is ordered to marry Romeo’s cousin, Benvolio. Despite being seemingly set up for success with its rich material and Lynch’s undeniable star power in her performance, the show faced a lot of criticism for its lack of emotional depth.
If you’re looking for a quick watch, then this is the perfect series for you, as it only aired seven episodes before its unfortunate cancellation. You can watch this series on various streaming platforms like Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV.
9. The Catch (2016-2017)
If you’re in the mood for a thriller, The Catch takes viewers on a stylish cat-and-mouse chase, led by the talented Mireille Enos as L.A. private investigator Alice Vaughan. After discovering her fiancé’s true identity as an international con artist, Alice navigates a world of deception and intrigue as she and her fellow P.I. team members set out to expose him.
With two seasons worth of episodes and killer ’60s outfits, prepare to delve into a rollercoaster of emotions and be gripped by the twists and turns of this electrifying series.
8. For the People (2018-2019)
One could say that creating compelling legal dramas is one of Rhimes’ forte and this shows in the TV series For the People. Set in the Southern District of New York federal court, the series follows the journeys of six young lawyers, striking a balance between engaging character dynamics and intricate legal proceedings.
With a focus on real-world issues, the show appeals to fans of both drama and procedural storytelling. The show was canceled after two seasons, but it earned acclaim for its courtroom drama and well-developed characters. Viewers can catch it on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
7. Station 19 (2018- )
Sometimes the cinematic worlds Rhimes creates are just far too interesting for this renowned showrunner to explore just once.
Hoping to expand upon Grey’s Anatomy universe, Station 19 immerses viewers in the lives of the courageous firefighters of the Seattle Fire Department. One of the show’s biggest strengths lies in its intricate character relationships, with the dynamic between station captain Pruitt Herrera and his daughter, Lt. Andy Herrera, being the highlight of the show.
This series keeps fans eagerly anticipating each episode, offering a compelling blend of drama and heroism. It’s set to return to your television screens by 2024 for its seventh season.
6. Inventing Anna (2022)
The true-crime genre has certainly grown in popularity over the years and Rhimes isn’t one to let a trend pass her by. Her first foray into the genre resulted in Inventing Anna, a captivating limited series based on the exploits of real-life con artist Anna Sorokin. The show gives its viewers a sneak peek into New York’s high society as it follows Sorokin’s audacious schemes.
Julia Garner is a standout as Sorokin, adding a layer of intrigue to our charlatan protagonist. Fans of gripping true stories are in for a treat as this is certainly a must-watch.
5. Private Practice (2007-2013)
Fan-favorite Dr. Addison Montgomery, of Grey’s Anatomy fame, gets her very own spotlight with the spin-off Private Practice. It follows the good doctor as she relocates to Los Angeles to…well, join a private practice. With a focus on challenging topics like sexual assault and drug addiction, the series distinguishes itself by addressing complex issues within the framework of medical drama.
Kate Walsh’s ability to breathe life into her character kept Grey’s Anatomy viewers hooked, leading them to explore the world of Private Practice, where her talent continued to shine, fostering a strong and loyal audience. Despite not lasting as long as its parent show, the show’s six-season run still left a mark as a fantastic spin-off.
4. How to Get Away With Murder (2014-2020)
We’re getting into the heavy hitters now, starting with one of Rhimes’ most successful TV sensations How to Get Away With Murder. Annalise Keating, in a powerhouse of a performance delivered by Viola Davis, sits at the helm of this incredibly brilliant criminal defense show that entangles viewers in a web of murder and intrigue.
With masterclass storytelling from Rhimes and Davis’ portrayal of Keating’s multifaceted character, this incredibly suspenseful series earned them multiple awards in its six-season run. Viola Davis, in particular, made history by becoming the first African American woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role on the show.
3. Bridgerton (2020- )
With most of the world locked in their homes in 2020, Bridgerton was the perfect storm that catapulted Shondaland to new heights and solidified its place in the growing world of Netflix streaming.
Based on the book series by Julia Quinn, the show follows the aristocratic Bridgerton siblings as they navigate the political intricacies and romantic spectacle of Rhimes’ take on the Regency era. The show’s lavish production design, captivating storytelling, and diverse cast resonated with worldwide audiences, making it a unique and addictive watch.
The show’s worldwide success earned it two seasons, with a third well on its way. Although news about the new season is sparse, likely due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes, fans who can’t get enough of Bridgerton can instead catch up with its prequel limited series, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
2. Scandal (2012-2018)
Scandal became a cultural phenomenon, drawing viewers into the world of Olivia Pope, a crisis management expert entangled in political and romantic turmoil. As Olivia and her team work tirelessly to protect their clients’ reputations, they often find themselves entangled in dangerous situations, uncovering dark secrets that threaten not only their clients but also the entire nation.
Kerry Washington’s impeccable portrayal of Pope and her electrifying chemistry with Tony Goldwyn’s President Fitzgerald Grant III elevated the show. It was a thrilling ride from start to finish and had viewers tuning to their TVs on Thursday nights to follow along. The show received six Emmy nominations, with notable wins in the Best Guest Actor category for both Dan Bucatinsky and Joe Morton.
1. Grey’s Anatomy (2005- )
At the heart of Rhimes’ TV empire lies Grey’s Anatomy—the show that redefined the medical drama genre. Following the lives of doctors at Seattle Grace Hospital, the series became a juggernaut, shaping the television landscape and captivating audiences for almost two decades.
Ellen Pompeo’s portrayal of Dr. Meredith Grey, supported by the talented ensemble, crafted a captivating blend of romance, drama, and humor, highlighting Rhimes’ storytelling prowess. Its diverse and flawed characters, exploration of LGBTQ+ representation, mental health, and ethical challenges have made it a beloved and influential medical drama on television. Grey’s Anatomy has won numerous awards and accolades, including multiple Primetime Emmy Awards.
From its iconic intros to unforgettable quotes (“Choose me, pick me, love me” and “The carousel never stops turning”) and popularizing phrases (“My person” and “McDreamy”)- this showcases that the impact Grey’s Anatomy has on pop culture is simply undeniable. Regardless if you’re a lifelong resident or a fresh intern to the series, Grey’s Anatomy is one of television’s most worthwhile watches that keep you coming back time and again.