Shonda Rhimes's net worth: Is she the highest-paid showrunner in Hollywood?

Shonda Rhimes's net worth: Is she the highest-paid showrunner in Hollywood?

Anyone who watches TV has heard of Shonda Rhimes at some point. She is the genius behind many of your favourite TV shows and has made quite the fortune for herself from her work. Rhimes is an American television producer, screenwriter, and author. Although she has many great works under her belt, she is best known for her role as the showrunner of the television medical drama Grey's Anatomy. As the self-proclaimed highest-paid showrunner in Hollywood, many have wondered what Shonda Rhimes's net worth is.

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Shonda Rhimes's net worth
Shonda Rhimes attends the "Bridgerton" Series 2 World Premiere at Tate Modern on March 22, 2022 in London, England. Photo: John Phillips
Source: Getty Images

Shonda Lynn Rhimes has had a long career that has spanned almost two decades. During this time, she has earned several accolades for her unique creations. Her latest TV shows, Bridgerton and Inventing Anna, have made her a whole new audience. However, Rhimes made history when she managed to ink a deal with Netflix after her long-standing contract with ABC.

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Profile summary

Full nameShonda Lynn Rhimes
NicknameShonda Rhimes
Date of birthJanuary 13, 1970
Age52 (as of 2022)
Zodiac signCapricorn
Place of birth Chicago, Illinois, USA
Current residenceNew York City
Nationality American
Ethnicity African-American
Religion Christian
Sexuality Unknown
Height in feet 5” 6”
Height in centimeters 170
Weight in pounds 163
Weight in kilograms 74 Kg
Body measurement in inches37-30-38
Body measurement in centimeters 94-76-96
Shoe size 10.5 (US)
Dress size 14 (US)
Eye colour Dark brown
Mother Vera P. (née Cain)
Father Ilee Rhimes, Jr.
Relationship statusSingle
Children Emerson, Beckett, Harper
University Dartmouth College, University of Southern California
Profession Television producer, screenwriter, and author
Net worth$140 million
Instagram @shondarhimes
Facebook ShondaRhimes

How much is Shonda Rhimes worth?

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How much money has Shonda Rhimes made from her career? According to Celebrity Net Worth, the 52-year-old scriptwriter has an estimated net worth of $140 million. She has managed to accrue this impressive figure from her long-standing career that started when she relocated to Los Angeles.

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Rhimes was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Vera P. Cain, a college professor and IIee Rhimes Jr., a university administrator. She attended Marian Catholic High School and later went to Dartmouth College to major in English and film studies in 1991.

After college, she relocated to San Francisco, where she worked in advertising at McCann Erickson. She then moved to Los Angeles to study screenwriting at the University of Southern California. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from the USC School of Cinematic Arts at the top of her class.

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By 1995, the screenwriter had already directed her first film Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream. Her career caught wind from there, and by 1999, she wrote the screenplay for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Years later, she wrote Crossroads and The Princess Diaries 2. It was after the completion of these projects that Rhimes got into her contract with ABC.

How did Shonda Rhimes get rich?

Below is how the showrunner has made her wealth over the years. It includes her work at ABC, Netflix, and other business ventures.

Working with ABC Studios

Shonda Rhimes's net worth
Shonda Rhimes attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Rich Fury
Source: Getty Images

Shonda is the creator, executive producer and head writer of the hit show Grey's Anatomy. The show, which debuted in 2005, features the surgical staff at a fictional hospital in Seattle. Rhimes also worked on several spin-offs for this show. How much does Shonda Rhimes make per episode of Grey's Anatomy? According to Forbes, the scriptwriter made around $30,000 per episode at the beginning. Her payment was later increased to $250,000 per episode by ABC.

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Her next big hit arrived when ABC ordered her pilot script, Scandal, to series. The series debut aired in April 2012 and ran for seven successful seasons until its conclusion.

In December 2013, a new Rhimes series, How to Get Away with Murder, was picked up for a pilot. The show, with Viola Davis and Alfred Enoch as the lead characters, was officially picked up in 2014. Then, in 2016, ABC premiered The Catch, another comedy led by Rhimes. This show was, however, cancelled after its second season.

Shonda Rhimes on Netflix

Keenly aware of the value she brought to the network, Rhimes decided to depart and seek greener pastures elsewhere. In 2017, she signed a deal with the Netflix streaming service reportedly worth $100-150 million that would keep her with the service for four years. This deal made history and was a significant step up from her previous $10 million deal with ABC.

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Her first original series on Netflix, Bridgerton, was a huge success. Forbes report that the show was watched by 40% of Netflix's paying households in its first month on the platform. After seeing just how much Rhimes was bringing to the table, Netflix offered her an extension.

Although Shonda was already set with her initial deal with Netflix, this new deal officially cemented her position as the highest-paid showrunner in television. The deal, worth between $300 - $400 million, is to be paid out over five years. In addition, it includes TV series, feature films, virtual reality content, and games.

This unusual deal also includes millions of dollars as bonuses that will be awarded based on the success of the content she creates. With her track record, fans are assured that the showrunner will manage to get all those bonuses.


Shonda Rhimes's net worth
Shonda Rhimes attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Gregg DeGuire
Source: Getty Images

One of the reasons Rhimes has been able to amass such a fortune is that she owns her own production company. Shondaland is the entity through which she does her deals, meaning she does not have to split profits with a third-party production company.

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Since Shondaland is a privately owned company. As an entity, the company has been part of high-profile collaborations that are sure to be raking in loads of cash. Shondaland and its logo also refer to the shows Rhimes has produced and to Rhimes herself. Shows produced by Shondaland include:

  • Grey's Anatomy (2005 – present)
  • Private Practice (2007 – 2013)
  • Off the Map (2011)
  • Scandal (2012 – 2018)
  • How to Get Away with Murder (2014 – 2020)
  • The Catch (2016 – 2017)
  • Still Star-Crossed (2017)
  • For the People (2018 – 2019)
  • Station 19 (2018 – present)
  • Bridgerton (2020 – present)
  • Inventing Anna (2022)

Other ventures

Is Shonda Rhimes a billionaire? No, she has not achieved the status yet. However, Rhimes is also involved in other endeavours that may soon catapult her to the billionaire class. She is an author and philanthropist and has invested heavily in real estate.

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Her first book, Year of Yes, was published by Simon & Schuster. The self-help title managed to become a New York Times best-seller and is used as a course at Peloton. The Rhimes Family Foundation was founded in 2016 and aimed to support the arts, education, and activism.

The showrunner also serves on the board of several other non-profits and foundations. In addition, she owns several properties in Los Angeles and New York for her real estate ventures.

What is Shonda Rhimes's net worth? The producer, screenwriter, and author is worth $140 million. She is currently the highest-paid showrunner in Hollywood after inking a groundbreaking deal with Netflix. recently published an article confirming that James is the new billionaire in town with a net worth of $1.2 billion. Did you know that LeBron James is now a billionaire? He is the first active player in the NBA to achieve this status.

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LeBron's impressive new status did not happen overnight. It results from being the NBA's highest-paid player and from his other endorsements and other intelligent business ventures.

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