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Netflix Nabs Out Producer Ryan Murphy for Reported $300M Deal

Wednesday Feb 14, 2018

In a major move, which Deadline calls "the biggest TV pact ever," Netflix has signed an overall deal with openly gay producer/writer/director Ryan Murphy, who has picked up several Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody Awards. The deal is reportedly worth up to $300 million.

The five-year deal, which starts July 1, is being called "the deal of a lifetime for an artist of a lifetime" by one industry insider who spoke with Deadline. Under the agreement, Murphy and his Ryan Murphy Productions company will produce new series and films exclusively for Netflix. Murphy's contract with Fox - where he produced a number of hit shows including "Glee," "American Horror Story," "American Crime Story," "Feud" and "Nip/Tuck" - expires in the summer, according to The New York Times.

Murphy is the latest prolific creator to join Netflix. In August 2017, it was reported show runner Shonda Rhimes, who created hits like "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal," and "How to Get Away with Murder" for ABC, left the network for a $100 million deal with the streaming company.

Murphy's move comes after the Walt Disney Company, which also owns ABC, reached a $52.4 billion deal to acquire most of 21st Century Fox. Murphy expressed his concerns over the merger during the Television Critics Association last month. After saying he thought he would "literally be buried on the Fox lot" he later asked, "Am I going to have to put Mickey Mouse in 'American Horror Story'?"

After news of his move to Netflix, Murphy released a statement.

"The history of this moment is not lost on me," he said. "I am a gay kid from Indiana who moved to Hollywood in 1989 with $55 dollars 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," Murphy said of the streaming company's top executives.

Murphy's latest move "is another hit for the traditional TV business, which has been upended by deep-pocketed digital upstarts with the creators of some of the biggest broadcast and cable series now calling the streaming platforms home," Deadline writes.

The New York Times adds:

Apple and Amazon have lately joined Netflix and Hulu in moving aggressively to sign heavyweight creators and entertainers, and the old-line companies are in danger of losing relevance if they do not put up a fight against their new, free-spending rivals. Netflix, which began offering original programming in 2012, has said it will spend up to $8 billion on content this year, and Apple has pledged at least $1 billion for original programming.

Nevertheless, Murphy has eight ongoing series with 20th TV/Fox 21 TV Studios and Deadline reports he "is expected to be focused on them, continuing to work with the executive teams at the studio as well as Fox and FX." One of his upcoming shows includes "Pose," about voguing culture in '80s New York City that will have the largest transgender cast in TV history.

In the weeks leading up the announcement, it was reported Murphy created two new series for Netflix: "Ratched," based off the nurse in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," which will star Murphy's muse Sarah Paulson, and "The Politician," which will star Tony Award-winning actor Ben Platt. Both Barbra Streisand and Gwyneth Paltrow are in talks to also star.

Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos also commented on the deal.

"Ryan Murphy's series have influenced the global cultural zeitgeist, reinvented genres and changed the course of television history," he said in a statement, . "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."


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