Four of the prime makers of television are furthering their empires, whether that means their current shows are receiving renewals for a couple more seasons or they have announced plans for new shows. The showrunners listed below have created enduring, iconic television shows and have no plans of letting up.
Known as the king of creating mega-hits for FOX/FX, Murphy has a couple exciting projects coming up. While FOX is remaining mum on whether "Scream Queens" will be renewed for a third season, FX has announced that "American Horror Story" will be renewed for a seventh, eighth, and ninth season. Ryan Murphy revealed on Feb. 15 that the seventh season will be based on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, which will certainly be interesting for many people since it was such a recent and shocking event.
The first season of "American Crime Story," which was based on the O.J. Simpson murder trial, received many awards and mass acclaim, with Sarah Paulson, Courtney B. Vance, and Sterling K. Brown heaping much of the praise. The second season, which is based on Douglas Brinkey's book "The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf," will premiere in 2018. The third season, which is based on Maureen Orth's book "Vulgar Favor: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History" about the assassination of fashion designer Gianna Versace by deranged serial killer Andrew Cunanan, will premiere six months after season two. Murphy recently announced that the fourth season will be based on Jeffrey Toobin's book "A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President," which details President Bill Clinton's illicit affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
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The logo for Shonda Rhimes' production company, Shondaland, is a roller coaster with a heart in the middle. That is a literal depiction of Rhimes' shows, which are action-packed, thrilling, and while sometimes mind-boggling, generate so much love and creativity. Rhimes created and writes for "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," as well as executive producing "How To Get Away With Murder." All three shows are apart of the TGIT (Thank God It's Thursday) lineup on ABC, ensuring that Rhimes effectively "owns" Thursday nights, and have been respectively renewed for a fourteenth (Grey's), seventh (Scandal), and fourth (HTGAWM) season. This is an incredible feat, and viewers are happy to hear that TGIT will be back on their television screens for at least another year.
While the three aforementioned shows have become the crowned jewels of Rhimes' career, she has even more upcoming projects. The second season of "The Catch" will premiere on March 9, filling in HTGAWM's TGIT slot. The first season received positive reviews and averaged 6.57 million viewers over the course of ten episodes. In addition, T.R. Knight, who played Dr. George O'Malley on "Grey's Anatomy" for the first five seasons, is returning to Shondaland and starring on "The Catch" as Alice Vaughn's (Mireille Enos) brother.
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In addition, Rhimes has created two shows that will also premiere on ABC. The first is "Still Star-Crossed," which is an American period drama based on the book of the same name by Melinda Taub. The premise of the show is a sequel to William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," with Rosaline (Lashana Lynch) trying to solve the violence between the two families. "Still Star-Crossed" will premiere sometime in 2017. The second show is "I'm Judging You," which is based on the book of the same name by Luvvie Ajayi. No release date has been set, but the announcement of this future show has received praise.
Mindy Kaling is a boss, through and through. Starring as Kelly Kapoor for eight years on "The Office" and executive producing, writing, and directing some of the episodes, Kaling has further solidified her position as a force to be reckoned with. She created "The Mindy Project," which she writes, produces, and stars in. The show, which is a tribute to Kaling's mom, focuses on the social/love life of OB/GYN Mindy Lahiri (Kaling). FOX canceled the show after three seasons but Kaling facilitated the transition from FOX to Hulu for a fourth and fifth season. The fourteen-episode fifth season returned from its midseason break on Feb. 14.
Jenji Kohan first made her mark by creating the show "Weeds," which was about Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a widowed soccer mom who begins selling marijuana to support her family. The comedy show gave humility to a drug dealer and ran for eight seasons over the course of seven years. A year later, Kohan created the Netflix web-streaming series "Orange is the New Black," which is based on the best-selling memoir by Piper Kerman. The show has raked in many awards over the years, recently winning "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series" at the Screen Actor's Guild Awards and "Favorite Premium Drama Series" at the People's Choice Awards.
"OITNB" has quickly become Netflix's most watched series and was renewed for a fifth, sixth, and seventh season. The fifth season will premiere on June 9, 2017 and pick up right where season four left off, with Draya (Dascha Polanco) holding a gun that will most likely initiate a prison riot. The 13-episode season will take place over an intense three days.
Reach staff reporter Adrianne Ramsey here.