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Hollywood Heavyweights Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay and Issa Rae Plotting Big Project

Social media has gone a buzz this afternoon after an epic photo with some of the most powerful and creative women in Hollywood has surfaced. The pic includes several multi-hyphenate women who are at the forefront of creating opportunities for people of color on television and on the web.

The photo released on Facebook by Debbie Allen features the director with Shonda Rhimes, Issa Rae, Mara Brock Akil and Ava DuVernay. Issa Rae shared the photo using #heroines… Could there be an action movie in the works?

We were first introduced to actress, director choreographer and producer Debbie Allen in 1976 as a guest star on Good Times. Over the past three decades her resume includes the cult classic Fame, The Cosby Show, A Different World, Everybody Hates Chris and Grey’s Anatomy. When Allen isn’t busy in front of the camera, she’s directing some of prime times most successful shows including Shonda Rhimes hit series’ Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder.

Rhimes has made all of social media say #TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday) with her three immensely popular ABC shows. The network recently picked up four more pilots by Rhimes, a drama, a crime thriller and two comedies.

READ MORE: New Show Alert: ABC Buys Another Pilot from Shonda Rhimes

Is Rhimes’ new comedy co-produced by Issa Rae? Rhimes’ previously worked with the writer, actress and producer of “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl” fame in 2013 on a comedy entitled, “I Hate LA Dudes”. ABC passed on the show but that didn’t stop Rae who went on to secure a development deal with HBO and is currently producing and starring in a new series Insecure about two African-American women figuring out life in LA. The 30-year old can also be seen as one of the co-hosts of the Aspire Network series, “Exhale”. She and partner Deniese Davis recently established, ColorCreative.TV to provide a platform for burgeoning screenwriters get their pilots funded and produced.

READ MORE: Issa Rae Stops in Atlanta during ‘The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl’ Book Tour

Also pictured is Golden Globe nominated director Ava DuVernay. The former publicist was recently honored at the Black Girls Rock awards ceremony for her work directing Selma. DuVernay is currently in production on a crime drama for CBS entitled, For Justice, starring Anika Noni Rose as Natalia Chapin. We wonder if Rose’s character will be anything like Olivia Pope or Annalise Keating? DuVernay is also adapting the novel, Queen Sugar into a television series for the OWN network which will star none other than, Oprah Winfrey. We think Debbie Allen would be great a director for some of the episodes!

Every ambitious career woman looking for love is currently living vicariously through Mary Jane Paul on Mara Brock-Akil’s hit series, Being Mary Jane. The show starring Gabrielle Union is currently in it’s second season on BET and show’s no signs of slowing down as the network has renewed the series for a third season. BET also ordered a makeover show from the Akil’s where celebrity trainer, Jeanette Jenkins will help participants get their health and wellness back in order.


These women are definitely a force to be reckoned with! We would love to see each bring their vision to each others projects as directors, producers and even guest stars. Stay tune for more details!

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