Fans and Show Runners – Shonda Rhimes

Grey’s Anatomy.  The show has a huge, passionate fan base with a strong social media presence.  Uh oh.  Begin the social media roaring when couples have fights, don’t get “enough” scenes, break up, or in the case of Grey’s Anatomy, die.   Grey’s is no stranger to such outpouring of fandom, well, passion.

Grey's Anatomy

There is such a fine, fine line to walk between writing stories that keep fans happy versus just plain good story telling.  Sometimes, those two considerations don’t intersect at all.  It’s good stories and great characters that gets fans invested in the first place, but does this change once the fans really get into the conversation?

In TV, a medium run by ratings and money, completely ignoring fans’ desires may not be advantageous.  At the same time, writers can’t make everyone happy, and without some sort of change and growth, stories and characters become boring.  If that happens, audiences will stop watching anyway.  The question is where the balance between fans and story telling lies.  This installment will focus on creator and show runner Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, and her take on fans.

A few months ago, Shonda was on Oprah to talk largely about her show, Scandal, but some talk about fans and Grey’s Anatomy also snuck into the conversation.  Here is what Shonda had to say about fans and staying true to her stories:


In conclusion: It’s Shonda’s world, and the fans just live in it.   Though in my opinion, with Shonda in charge, I’m not too worried.

About VersusTheFans

Amplifying and celebrating the value of popular art, especially TV, in giving a voice to women and the LGBT community, in addition to serving as a media watcher on LGBT reporting.

Posted on March 25, 2013, in All Posts, Fandom, Social Media, TV Shows and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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