By Diana Ochoa
Shonda Rhimes officially broke into the pop culture scene during the late 2000s, when her production company, ShondaLand Productions, launched its first ABC drama, Grey’s Anatomy. Then, fast forward to 2012, another ShondaLand hit, Scandal, was in the making. After both of these shows aired on primetime television, they had gathered massive ratings and viewers, and won many awards. Because of this, later in 2014, ABC decided to create a special TV programming lineup for the production company titled “Thank God It’s Thursday” (“TGIT”). “TGIT” consists of new back to back episodes of ShondaLand’s hit shows every week; and not only has it become a major success across the country, but it has redefined television as a whole. The major question is: how? It is one thing for a company to have a brand, but to establish it and promote it to the public is a whole new level of expertise.
I believe that one of the most notable attributes that ShondaLand maintains is their strong scriptwriting. After more than ten years, the writers at ShondaLand make sure that their material is sharp, fresh, and relates to everyday people. Because of this, it was recently announced how Shonda Rhimes herself is pairing up with MasterClass© to teach an online class about scriptwriting in the entertainment industry. Not only does this partnership help promote the ShondaLand Productions brand, but also Shonda Rhimes herself.
Another attribute about ShondaLand and their brand that has made them so successful is their overarching concept of having strong women leads in their shows. They are unique in this way, because there are not many television shows out there that allow women to have a role other than the cheery girlfriend, sidekick, or neighbor.
Shonda Rhimes speaks her mind about this with TIME magazine:
One final component of ShondaLand that makes their brand so successful is their active social media presence and interaction with their millions of fans. In addition to each ShondaLand show having its own twitter page, many actors/actresses of these shows also dedicate themselves to personally tweeting during “TGIT”, answering fans’ questions, and just spreading positivity as a whole to their viewers. This supports how creator Shonda Rhimes not only hires these actors/actresses for their ability to act on screen, but she also hires them for their characters off-screen, and strong passion for what they do.
Currently, TGIT is still bringing in strong numbers for the ShondaLand brand, and it is always exciting to see what new techniques they will use to promote their brand next.