Netflix Inc. (NFLX) has poached acclaimed television writer and producer Shonda Rhimes from ABC Studios and Walt Disney Co. (DIS), signing the creator of hit shows like “Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy” to a multi-year deal rumored to be worth more than $10 million a year. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news and Netflix later released a statement. (See also: Netflix Will 'Rule' World by 2020: Piper Jaffray.)

“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix. “Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I’ve gotten the chance to know Shonda and she’s a true Netflixer at heart – she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”

Rhimes and her production company ShondaLand will be tasked with developing new shows for the Scotts Valley, California-based streaming giant, and she will continue to be involved with shows that currently are in the pipeline or air on ABC. Her signing forms part of Netflix’s goal to create and own more original content, a path that has proved to be far more lucrative than relying on Hollywood studios and production firms to supply the company with programming.

Rhimes’s decision to jump ship was announced shortly after Disney unveiled plans to launch its own streaming service. Those plans led the entertainment conglomerate to pull out of its deal to supply many of its Disney-branded movies to Netflix. (See also: Disney Shares Drop as Investors Weigh Risks of New Streaming Plans)

Netflix’s appointment of Rhimes underpins the streaming company’s intention to tackle increasing competition from the likes of Disney and Amazon.com (AMZN) by bagging the best talent in the industry. Rhimes reportedly generated over $2 billion in revenue from advertising, rerun sales and international licensing during her 15-year stint at ABC.

In an interview, Rhimes said she joined Netflix to get more creative freedom. "I'm thrilled by the idea of a world where I'm not caught in the necessary grind of network television," she told the Journal, adding that a lack of advertising on Netflix meant she no longer has to worry about language or nudity.

Rhimes represents the latest in a string of high profile recruitments orchestrated by Netflix. The streaming company recently signed famed directors Joel and Ethan Coen to make a Western series. It also convinced late-night star David Letterman to come out of retirement and acquired comic book publisher Millarworld in order to create a new franchise that uses its characters. (See also: Netflix Makes First Acquisition With Comics Buy.)

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