While networks are currently hard at work deciding what will be hitting the airwaves this fall, Netflix has just secured what’s believed to be the biggest deal of the season. Deadline reports that in a highly competitive situation, the streaming giant has landed a two-season order for a new TV series from Ryan Murphy called The Politician. The hourlong comedy series will be spearheaded by Tony winner Ben Platt, who is red hot coming off his Broadway stint in the smash hit musical Dear Evan Hansen. As if that wasn’t enough, Barbra Streisand and Gwyneth Paltrow are in talks to co-star and produce, with Streisand expected to direct multiple episodes.
The series revolves around the political aspirations of a wealthy Santa Barbarian, and each season will revolve around a different political race his character is involved in. So presumably, if this thing goes five seasons, we’re headed towards a lighter take on House of Cards.
There will be several musical numbers in the show, which will showcase Platt’s talents as well as Streisand’s, and if that seems an odd fit for the series keep in mind the show hails from the same trio that created Glee. Indeed, Murphy and creative partner Brad Falchuk brought in Glee co-creator Ian Brennan, and all three will serve as creators and executive producers on The Politician. The three previously teamed up for Scream Queens on Fox, which was cancelled last May after two seasons.
This marks Murphy’s second deal with Netflix, as he previously sold the Sarah Paulson-fronted series Ratched, which will chronicle the titular character from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in an origin story of sorts. Whatever you think about the quality of Murphy’s work, his shows are incredibly popular, so this was a huge get for Netflix.
It may also be a harbinger of things to come. While Murphy helped grow FX with American Horror Story and American Crime Story, he’s been quite public about his fears of what will happen to the network’s content after the Disney-Fox deal goes through. Murphy’s contract with FX is up soon, so it’s possible The Politician was a show of good faith from Netflix as the streaming service tries to poach Murphy with an overall deal, like they did with Shonda Rhimes.
The prolific producer/writer/director is keeping busy. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is currently airing on FX (to far quieter buzz than O.J, it must be pointed out), and Katrina: American Crime Story is poised to go into production this year. Murphy is also gearing up production on his FX series Pose, which features the largest LGBTQ cast ever assembled, and he launched the Fox series 9-1-1 this season to stellar ratings. Still unclear is when the next season of Feud will go into production, but The Politician is a very high profile series and the show is expected to start filming late summer, with Murphy directing the first episode, so it appears this one is a high priority.
Stay tuned, folks. The TV landscape is still shifting in big ways.