What Is Shonda Rhimes’s Net Worth? It’s Way More Impressive Than We Imagined

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When we first learned of Shonda Rhimes's net worth, we weren’t that surprised, considering the success of her binge-worthy shows. (But yes, our jaw still dropped.)

The Grey's Anatomy creator, 53, is worth an estimated $250 million, according to Forbes—and we're predicting that this number will continue to skyrocket, thanks to the iconic showrunner's growing empire. While discussing her future goals with Town & Country, she said, “The meaning of ambition has changed for me. In the beginning, it was all about wanting to get to a specific destination. Now it’s about broader ways I want to work and live.”

She added, “There’s always that feeling of competition with myself, the desire to do better than I did last time. I’m always pushing myself to be better than I was before.”

So, how exactly did she make her impressive fortune? Keep reading for everything we know about Shonda Rhimes's net worth.

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1. What Is Shonda Rhimes’s Net Worth?

According to Forbes, the producer and Shondaland founder is worth a staggering $250 million. In 2022, she was included on the Forbes List of Power Women, and in 2023, she was included in America's Self-Made Women.

In a 2021 interview with the outlet, she said, "I never worried that I deserve the money. I deserve every penny I make." *Mic drop.*

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2. How Much Did She Earn as a Screenwriter?

Although the majority of her fortune comes from the success of Grey’s, HTGAWM and Scandal (more on that later), that’s not the only way she’s earned money. After graduating from USC, Rhimes found herself as an unemployed screenwriter in Hollywood. However, she occasionally got work, including when she got the chance to help write the documentary Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream, which won the Peabody Award in 1995.

Things began to take off a bit more in 1999 when she was hired to write HBO's Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Two years later, Rhimes wrote Crossroads (yup, the one with Britney Spears) and later went on to write The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Her earnings for these projects are unknown, but we'd assume she made a pretty penny.

3. How Much Did Shonda Rhimes Make from Her ABC Shows?

As we mentioned above, Rhimes’s net worth has almost entirely come from the money she’s earned through her years at ABC, which is home to hit series Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, all created by her company Shondaland. Not to mention, Grey’s Anatomy made Rhimes the first Black woman to spearhead a successful primetime drama on a broadcast network. (FYI, did you know that Rhimes got her inspiration for the show after volunteering at a hospital in high school?)

The production company also produced shorter-lived series, like The Catch and Private Practice (a less successful spin-off of Grey’s). Per Forbes, Rhimes reportedly earned around $10 million a year from ABC. Plus, the shows were syndicated or sold to streaming services for about $1 million an episode.

And Grey’s doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, even though Ellen Pompeo is no longer a series regular. (She still appears in flashbacks and other long-distance scenes.) “Ellen [Pompeo] and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she's going to do the show,” Rhimes told E! News in 2017. “So, the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we're stopping. So, I don't know if we'll see 600, but I want to keep it feeling fresh. As long as there are fresh stories to tell and as long as we're both excited about the stories being told, we're in. So, we'll see where that takes us.”

4. What About Her Netflix Deal?

In 2017, she dissolved her contract early with ABC, trading in her $10 million base salaries for a four-year deal with Netflix that's worth an estimated $150 million, per The New York Times. As Celebrity Net Worth reports, under the deal, all of Rhimes’s future productions will be Netflix Original series. All of this is on top of the fact that the streamer had already bought the U.S. streaming rights to all past episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.

Rhimes’s first project under this contract was Bridgerton, which is based on the book series by Julia Quinn. Then came Inventing Anna, an adaptation of the New York Magazine story “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York's Party People.” And for the Bridgerton fans, Netflix dropped a prequel called Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, starring India Amarteifio, Adjoa Andoh and Michelle Fairley

While discussing Queen Charlotte, she told Entertainment Weekly, "I was not interested in telling the perfect fairy tale. Bridgerton really is about that. But we've all seen King George with Queen Charlotte. We already know that there's something that's not easy about that relationship."

"I was really enjoying Queen Charlotte getting to tell a story about complicated love. How she meets a man and then marries him, and then she falls in love with him. I wanted to explore the realities of that," Rhimes continued. "People aren't perfect. People go through troubles and tribulations, and I wanted to see our characters deal with that and still somehow have a good marriage." 

5. Does She Have Real Estate?

Per Celebrity Net Worth, in 2017, Rhimes spent a whopping $4.6 million on a 5,000-square foot home in Los Angeles, specifically Hancock Park (this is apparently her third home in the area). However, in 2019, she sold one of the estates, which she bought in 2010 from Beck for $5 million, for an impressive $7.2 million.

According to Forbes, she also reportedly bought a Westport, Connecticut home from Melissa and Doug Bernstein, founders of the Melissa & Doug toy company.

We have a feeling there’s plenty more dough in her future.

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Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...