How Shonda Rhimes Became the Queen of Television

One Word: Crossroads.

Award winner, stereotype demolisher, and all-around empress of entertainment Shonda Rimes is undeniably the most powerful woman in television today. With her aptly titled “Shondaland” production company, Rhimes dominates Thursday night on the tube—and, let’s be honest, now that’s the only day we care about. Especially now that Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and How to Get Away with Murder are back on TV.

So how did it she get here? How did Rhimes redefine what it means to be a successful showrunner, create a slew of bombshell dramas, and shut down the New York Times (we’ll get to that)? Well, it wasn’t the easiest journey. Some perseverance and a hell of a lot of hard work is the moral to her story, but let’s dig a little deeper.

Shonda grew up in Illinois, worked hard throughout high school while volunteering at a hospital and landed at Dartmouth college. After working at an ad agency and inspiring a Barbie ad, she went back to school and learned how to get away with being a boss-ass bitch. After working on a few sets and selling scripts, she was invited to write the script for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Halle Berry won a Golden Globe for that one, which looked damn good on Shonda’s resume, too.

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