ABC entertainment prez insists departure of Shonda Rhimes won’t be a problem for the network

ABC/Todd Wawrychuk(LOS ANGELES) — In August, Shonda Rhimes, whose TV successes include Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, announced she was ending her 15-year relationship with ABC Studios and signing a deal with Netflix.  Monday at the Television Critics Press Association tour in Pasadena, California, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said everything at ABC would be business as usual in the wake of Rhimes’ departure.

According to Variety, while with reporters after the panel discussion, Dungey said, “Over time there have been people saying how [is ABC] going to survive without Aaron Spelling, how are they going to survive without Steven Bochco, how are they going to survive without J.J. Abrams. Now they’re saying how are they going to survive without Shonda Rhimes.”

But, she noted, “The great thing is there’s always new talent that emerges. This is going to give them an opportunity to step into the spotlight even more.”

During the panel, Dungey said, “I’ve known for a while that Shonda was interested in stretching different sets of creative muscles, and I think we all know that there are different challenges and opportunities in broadcast and different challenges and opportunities in streaming. I wish her all the best as she explores those new options.”

Dungey also said that in terms of new ABC series, she wants to “focus on shows that are lighter, brighter, more emotional,” as well as on family comedies and police procedurals. She also revealed that The Middle will end with an hour-long episode, that the Marvel show Inhumans wouldn’t return for a second season, and that Once Upon a Time would be continuing.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.