10 Best Shonda Rhimes Shows, Ranked

Movies


It is no question that famed producer and showrunner Shonda Rhimes and her company, Shondaland, have been the mastermind behind some of the most successful television shows in the modern era. From the long-running hit, Grey’s Anatomy, to the Netflix hit, Bridgerton, Rhimes’ productions are well-known for being compelling and bingeworthy, and their popularity has led to huge success for ABC, which aired many of Rhimes’ shows.



In 2018, Rhimes branched out into the streaming universe by agreeing to an exclusive deal with Netflix that gave her a new platform to showcase her groundbreaking work. Armed with her new Netflix pact, and keeping her ties with ABC, Rhimes has become a force to be reckoned with on the small screen. So, in celebration of her tremendous work, let’s rank Shonda Rhimes’ 10 best television series.



10 ‘Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker’ (2020)

Documentary

Image via Netflix 

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is a documentary which follows dance instructor Debbie Allen as she prepares the students of her dance academy in Los Angeles in the months leading up to their annual performance of classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker. Allen’s modern interpretation of the ballet has won multiple awards. The documentary also addresses the lack of diversity in ballet and dancers’ struggles with body image.

Dance Dreams is an inspirational behind-the-scenes look at Allen’s staging of The Nutcracker, as well as an emotional story about what the performance and dance school itself mean to Allen’s students. But it also goes deeper than the performance. It also delves into Allen’s background and motivations for staging the ballet, plus the impact the arts have had on her own life, a common thread for many of the performers featured in the film.


Dance_Dreams_-_Hot_Chocolate_Nutcracker

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

Release Date
November 27, 2020

Cast
Debbie Allen

Runtime
80 Minutes

Main Genre
Documentary

Watch on Netflix

9 ‘Inventing Anna’ (2022)

Mini-Series

Anna Sorokin with the sea in the background in Inventing Anna (2022)
Image via Netflix

In the miniseries Inventing Anna, journalist Vivian (Anna Chlumsky) seeks to prove herself to her boss and land a career-defining story before giving birth to her first child with the story of con-artist Anna Delvey (Julia Garner). The series was inspired by a New York Magazine article detailing the real Delvey’s scams, most notably posing as a German heiress and conning banks and New York’s elite out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Anna and journalist Vivian’s stories are melded together in Inventing Anna, and the mystery around Anna only deepened throughout Vivian’s reporting, with each person who crossed paths with her presenting a different version of her. The series is a compelling dramatization of Delvey’s cons, and an exploration of who Delvey really was, as well as a comment on certain people’s obsessions with wealth, fame and how people use social media to present themselves to the world.

inventing-anna-poster

Inventing Anna

Creator
Shonda Rhimes

Seasons
1

Release Date
February 11, 2022

Watch on Netflix

8 ‘The Catch’ (2016-2017)

2 Seasons

The Catch Mireille Enos Peter Krause Shonda Rhimes
Image via ABC


In The Catch, Alice (Mireille Enos) worked as a private investigator for high-end clients, solving cases surrounding crimes like data breaches and intellectual-property theft. But she put her skills to use for herself after her fiancé conned her and disappeared with her money and she became determined to track him down. The show lasted two seasons, and although it wasn’t created by Rhimes, she did serve as executive producer, alongside Betsy Beers.

Although it was short-lived, The Catch featured an interesting premise, and the story was filled with backstabbing and betrayal. With its combination of humor, romance and thriller, it was fun to watch, even if some of the twists were predictable. Alice’s work as a private investigator made for some great plots on its own, and things got even better as she realized what her fiancé had done and tried to find him.

the catch

Release Date
2015-00-00

Seasons
2

Studio
ABC


Watch on Hulu

7 ‘Station 19’ (2018-2024)

7 Seasons

station-19-cast-social
Image via ABC

Station 19 is a spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy which follows Seattle’s firefighters, all with varying degrees of experience, with plots and characters which sometimes overlap with Grey’s. The show’s main focus is Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz), the daughter of the station head who’s following in her father’s footsteps and has a lifelong dream of being captain, a dream which will finally be realized in the show’s seventh season, which will be its last.


Like Grey’s, Station 19 merges the characters’ personal and professional lives, from the struggles that come with being the head’s daughter in Andy’s case to multiple romances between firefighters in the department, as well as the conflict that comes from vying for positions like captain. But the show offers more than interpersonal drama, as the station often responds to difficult calls, leading to intense, action-packed episodes with high stakes for both the firefighters and the people they’re trying to save.

Station 19 Poster

Station 19

Release Date
March 22, 2018

Cast
Jaina Lee Ortiz , Jason George , Grey Damon , Barrett Doss

Seasons
6

Watch on Hulu

6 ‘Private Practice’ (2007-2013)

6 Seasons

Kate Walsh, Taye Diggs, Amy Brenneman, Tim Daly, Paul Adelstein, Christopher Lowell, Audra McDonald, and KaDee Strickland of Private Practice
Image via ABC


Another spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, followed neonatal surgeon Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) as she left her life in Seattle behind for a new start in Los Angeles. There, she joined a private practice and worked alongside other doctors, all working in different specialties. The show ran for six seasons and ended in 2013, although the character of Addison briefly reappeared on Grey’s Anatomy in Season 19.

As one of the most popular Grey’s characters, Addison was a great choice for a spin-off, and the setting of a private practice was more intimate and not as fast-paced as a hospital. But that didn’t mean the show didn’t have its fair share of drama and compelling medical cases; Addison’s work in neonatal surgery made for some emotional and intense storytelling. The show also had a direct impact on Grey’s itself, as the character of Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) moved to the show after Private Practice was canceled.

private-pratice

private practice

Release Date
September 26, 2007

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
6

Studio
ABC


Watch on Hulu

5 ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ (2014-2020)

6 Seasons

Bisexual Characters-Annalise Keating-How to Get Away With Murder (1)
Image via ABC

How to Get Away with Murder followed defense attorney and law professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and a group of her best students as they worked alongside her at her law firm, helping to defend some of the most brutal criminals. But the students got more than just a prestigious job, as they became involved in a murder plot, and they all had their own secrets to protect. The show premiered in 2014 and lasted six seasons.

How to Get Away with Murder was part legal drama, part thriller, as Annalise and her students and staff got pulled deeper and deeper into the show’s mysteries. Although the plot could be convoluted with unpredictable twists, that simply made it more fun to watch and get caught up in. One of the best parts of the show was Davis, who was great to watch as the formidable and brilliant Keating.


Watch on Netflix

4 ‘Scandal’ (2012-2018)

7 Seasons

Olivia Pope with her arms crossed looking serious in Scandal.
Image via ABC

After working for the president as a media consultant, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) opened her own crisis-management firm in Scandal, focused largely around the world of D.C. politics. But Olivia’s clients weren’t the only people keeping secrets, and in addition to her work, Olivia also had an on-again, off-again romance with the president. The show first aired in 2012 and lasted seven seasons. It was inspired by a true story.


Like some of Rhimes’ other huge shows, Scandal was full of dramatic twists, from characters’ families to their love lives, and blended their personal and professional lives. Washington impressed as the fierce Olivia, who was willing to do just about anything to get the result she wanted. Olivia was an iconic, beloved character, even when she was causing problems rather than solving them. The show was praised by fans and critics alike.

Scandal TV Show Final Season Poster

Scandal

Release Date
April 5, 2012

Seasons
7

Creator
Shonda Rhimes

Studio
ABC

Watch on Hulu

3 ‘Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story’ (2023)

Limited Series

India Amarteifio as Queen Charlotte sitting and holding a Pomeranian puppy in Queen Charlotte
Image via Netflix


Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is a prequel spinoff of Netflix hit Bridgerton, set in 1761, when a young Charlotte (India Amarteifio) meets and is promised to King George (Corey Mylchreest) in an arranged marriage. The series also explores Charlotte’s struggles in adjusting to life in the palace with George, his mother and others in their orbit. The characters of Charlotte and George were inspired by actual royal figures, although the story in the show is entirely fictional.

Although not as popular and well-received as Bridgerton itself, Queen Charlotte is still a great show in its own right. Amarteifio is a delight to watch the quick-witted, strong-willed Charlotte. The character was already a fan favorite, and here, audiences get to learn more about her and what made her into the iconic character they know from the original series, and how she’s responsible for the events of Bridgerton.


Watch on Netflix

2 ‘Bridgerton’ (2020-)

2 Seasons

The princesses in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Image via Netfilx

Set in Regency-era England, Bridgerton follows the Bridgerton siblings as they forge their own paths in life and try to find love. The series is narrated by Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews), a mysterious anonymous writer of a newsletter reporting on society’s events. The show has run for two seasons so far, and at least two more are on the way. It is based on a series of books by Julia Quinn.

Bridgerton is one of Netflix’s most beloved shows, featuring a diverse cast of great characters. It’s Shondaland’s take on Jane Austen, with the drama of high society and plenty of romance. It’s fun to watch play out, even if the plots are a little expected, as the characters navigate what’s expected of them with what they want for themselves, with the added drama of Lady Whistledown reporting on everyone’s business from the shadows.


bridgerton-season-3-poster

Bridgerton

Seasons
3

Studio
Netflix

Release Date
December 25, 2020

Creator
Chris Van Dusen

Main Genre
Drama

Watch on Netflix

1 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (2005-)

19 Seasons

Kate Walsh, Chandra Wilson, Camila Luddington, and Stefania Spampinato as Addison, Bailey, Jo, and Carina in Grey's Anatomy
Image via ABC

Grey’s Anatomy premiered in 2005 and is currently in its 20th season. When it began, it followed a group of new interns working at a hospital in Seattle as they balanced their careers with their personal lives. Over the years, it has followed those interns as they progressed in their careers and introduced new ones along the way. While it largely focused on Meredith Grey, the character was no longer a regular as of the show’s 19th season.


Grey’s Anatomy has been a huge hit for ABC, and it’s Rhimes’ biggest, most successful show. Fans know they can count on Grey’s for plenty of drama from hospital patients and staff alike. The series is known for its compelling, sometimes over-the-top medical cases, as well as romances between doctors, on top of all the other personal drama life entails. And because it’s been on for so long, characters often come and go, meaning audiences never know who might surprise them next.

Greys Anatomy TV Show Poster

Grey’s Anatomy

Release Date
March 27, 2005

Main Genre
Drama

Seasons
20

Watch on ABC

NEXT: From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ to ‘How to Get Away with Murder:’ All of Shonda Rhimes’ TV Shows, Ranked From Worst to Best



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