Today, Netflix announced Ryan Murphy signed a record-setting deal valued at upwards of $300 million to produce new series and movies exclusively for the platform beginning on July 1.
“Ryan Murphy’s series have influenced the global cultural zeitgeist, reinvented genres and changed the course of television history. His unfaltering dedication to excellence and to give voice to the underrepresented, to showcase a unique perspective or just to shock the hell out of us, permeates his genre-shattering work,” commented Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in Variety. “From Nip/Tuck — our first licensed series — to American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and American Horror Story, we’ve seen how his brand of storytelling captivates consumers and critics across the globe. His celebrated body of work and his contributions to our industry speak for themselves, and we look forward to supporting Ryan in bringing his broad and diverse stories to the world.”
The move comes after Murphy spent many years at 20th Century Fox TV. However, his contract with the studio ends this summer. With the anticipated sale of 20th Century Fox studio and FX Networks cable group to Disney, Murphy’s decision to head over to Netflix sent shockwaves throughout the industry. Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger personally attempted to woo Murphy in hopes the showrunner would remain a part of the team. However, uncertainty surrounding the Disney-Fox deal may have been a determining factor for Murphy.
“I wish Ryan well, and I know everyone at our company feels the same,” shared Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden, who worked closely with Murphy for years. “We are lucky to have so many projects with him.”
Over the past few months, Murphy started working on two different series for Netflix: an origin story about Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and a political satire starring Ben Platt. Netflix aggressively pursued both Murphy projects, outbidding numerous studios and streaming video-on-demand services. The deal with Netflix happened quickly as the Disney-Fox relationship began to solidify.
“The history of this moment is not lost on me,” Ryan Murphy said in a statement. “I am a gay kid from Indiana who moved to Hollywood in 1989 with $55 in savings in my pocket, so the fact that my dreams have crystallized and come true in such a major way is emotional and overwhelming to me. I am awash in genuine appreciation for Ted Sarandos, Reed Hastings, and Cindy Holland at Netflix for believing in me and the future of my company, which will continue to champion women, minorities, and LGBTQ heroes and heroines, and I am honored and grateful to continue my partnership with my friends and peers at Fox on our existing shows.”
Last month, Murphy expressed concerns about the possible deal between Disney and Fox, stating, “The stuff that I do isn’t specifically Disney. I was concerned: Do I have to start putting Mickey Mouse in American Horror Story?” Netflix, a platform that embraces groundbreaking, experimental series and movies seem to be the perfect place for Murphy to continue developing innovative, edgy content for audiences.
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