Ryan Murphy Jumps FX Ship to Join Netflix with Huge Deal
Well, this is a fine how do you do. Showrunner extraordinaire Ryan Murphy, who has had a long and prolific relationship with FOX TV and FX, is leaving the network to work exclusively with Netflix.
Variety reports the deal is pretty substantive, too — a five-year pact valued at $250-$300 million, which would begin July 1 when his current deal with 20th Century Fox TV expires.
Many are speculating the move might have been partially motivated by the fact 20th Century Fox and FX Networks have been bought by Disney. Perhaps Murphy wouldn’t have felt as comfortable – or maybe had the freedom – to create some of the crazy stuff he likes to do with Disney at the helm, from the terrifying and grotesque American Horror Story anthology to his hard-hitting American Crime Story and Feud series.
“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,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “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.”
Here’s what Murphy had to say about the collaboration: “The history of this moment is not lost on me. 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.”
This can’t be good news for Disney, who reportedly wanted the hit-making producer to stay in the Fox fold. According to Variety, Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger was heavily courting Murphy, as well as Dana Walden, Fox Television Group chairman-CEO, who had a long-standing working relationship with Murphy and who now might go with Murphy to Netflix as his partner.
Kudos to Netflix for flexing their ever-growing muscles in the TV streaming biz. Along with Murphy, they also signed a big deal with ABC’s prolific producer Shonda Rhimes.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Murphy comes up with at Netflix.