By Stephanie Merry
With the news this week that Shonda Rhimes is leaving ABC for Netflix, the streaming giant added yet another big name to its increasingly deep bench. "Grey's Anatomy," "How to Get Away With Murder" and the final season of "Scandal" will still air on ABC, but much of Rhimes's work going forward will be dropped in bulk, in perfectly bingeable doses.
Since it began investing eye-popping amounts of cash in original programming, Netflix has quickly won over showrunners and filmmakers interested in getting financed with few strings attached. So Rhimes is in very good company. Here's a look at some of the other bigwigs who have made the leap.
After Paramount balked at the $100 million price tag of Scorsese's gangster film The Irishman, Netflix stepped in to finance the movie, which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci.
Even with that budget, it's hard to imagine that a project with so much talent to spare could be a risky bet for a Hollywood studio, and yet here we are. The drama is scheduled to be released in 2019.
The Coen brothers
The Oscar-winning duo can do blockbusters (True Grit) and cult hits (The Big Lebowski), but brothers Joel and Ethan have never written and directed for the small screen. That changes with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, a six-episode miniseries set in the old west that's slated for 2018.
Before she filmed the forthcoming A Wrinkle in Time, one of Hollywood's buzziest directors teamed up with Netflix for last year's Oscar-nominated documentary 13th.
DuVernay will once again collaborate with the company, this time on a five-episode series about the innocent teens who were convicted in the infamous Central Park jogger case. The series airs in 2019.
The director behind Se7en, Zodiac, Gone Girl and the pilot of Netflix's House of Cards will return to one of his preferred themes - murder - for the series Mindhunter, about FBI agents who interview convicted serial killers to crack ongoing cases.
It's a little reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs, though the fact that Netflix has already renewed the series for a second season can only be a good sign. The show debuts Oct. 13.
He's refusing to get rid of his crazy beard, but at least the former late-night favorite has agreed to return to television.
Each episode of the new series will have Letterman doing what he does best - grilling his interviewees - though his special guests/victims haven't yet been identified. The six episodes air next year.
After working with Amazon on his film Chi-Raq, Lee is once again headed to a streaming outlet, though this time he'll be working on a series. She's Gotta Have It is an update of Lee's first feature film, about a woman juggling three men.
The 10 30-minute episodes stream Nov. 23. (Amazon.com chief Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
The man behind the megahit shows The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, among many other popular series, has two more shows on deck at Netflix.
Disjointed, which streams Aug. 25, stars Kathy Bates as a pothead who has turned her favorite pastime into a business. The just-announced second series, The Kominsky Method, co-stars Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin as a Hollywood acting coach and his cranky (we can only assume based on the casting) best friend.
Netflix scooped up the rights to The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) in April, shortly before the film got a warm reception at its Cannes Film Festival premiere.
The movie happens to star another Netflix fixture, Adam Sandler, though in a much less inane role than you've seen him play lately. The movie follows a dysfunctional family and co-stars Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and Ben Stiller.
Having created The Simpsons - the longest-running U.S. prime-time series ever - Groening must have seemed like a sure bet for Netflix, which is already dipping a toe into the waters of adult animated series with Bojack Horseman and F Is for Family.
Groening's Disenchantment is a fantasy set in a medieval kingdom where an idiosyncratic princess (Abbi Jacobson) gets up to high jinks with her buddies (voiced by Nat Faxon and Eric Andre). The first 10-episode season airs in 2018.