Prolific producer and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes could expand her work into VR content at Netflix.
Rhimes and Netflix are extending a content relationship with Rhimes’ Shondaland Media after the original partnership ironed out in 2017 helped break records this year for the streaming company with 82 million households tuning in within the first month to Shondaland’s steamy show Bridgerton. The show is already renewed through season four with spin-offs planned as well and more content in the works at Netflix.
Shondaland’s other shows include Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and the new deal with Netflix extends the partnership to “exclusively produce, stream and distribute feature films as well potential gaming and virtual reality content.”
Netflix offers a VR app for its streaming service on Oculus Quest and has dabbled in VR over the years. Companies like Disney alongside tools like Epic’s Unreal Engine have also made enormous progress over the last few years incorporating VR headsets into production workflows that allow creators to scout their shots and see virtual sets more quickly, but for at-home viewers streaming services have hit a bit of a wall when it comes to the viewing experience.
You can’t sit down with friends and easily watch new episodes of The Mandalorian or The Witcher just yet, for example, though there are some ways to watch some content with friends in VR already with services like Bigscreen. Plus, headset weight, comfort and battery limitations make it difficult to binge-watch content that services like Netflix are heavily leaning into.
That all could change in the coming months and years, however, as more comfortable headsets debut and major platform companies like Facebook seek to partner with streaming services for new experiences that erase some of the barriers that held back the experience in the past.