ABC struggles with exits of top writers as Netflix lures talent


Channing Dungey, the president of entertainment at Walt Disney Co.’s ABC network, has lost two of the industry’s top TV show creators in the past year.

Shonda Rhimes, the force behind an ABC Thursday night lineup that includes “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” left for a programming deal with Netflix last year, while Kenya Barris, creator of the network’s hit comedy “Black-ish,” is leaving ABC this month. Rhimes is believed to have received a deal worth more than $100 million.

It’s more than money that is prompting talent to leave, Dungey said Tuesday in an interview at the Television Critics Association meeting in Beverly Hills, California. Writers for streaming services such as Netflix can create episodes of any length. They don’t have to write around commercial breaks or deal with broadcast standards restricting language and on-screen behavior.

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ABC struggles with exits of top writers as Netflix lures talent