Netflix has poached another huge TV talent. Last year, the streaming service signed a hefty overall deal with producer Shonda Rhimes, moving the Grey’s Anatomy creator’s production company from its longtime home of ABC to Netflix. Now, in an even bigger deal, Netflix has lured Ryan Murphy away from his longtime home of 20th Century Fox for a price said to be in the range of $300 million. That covers a five-year agreement to produce new films and TV series exclusively at Netflix starting July 1st.
Murphy first set up shop with Fox with the launch of the FX drama series Nip/Tuck in 2003, which ran for six seasons. Then in 2009 Murphy launched Glee on FOX to massive buzz and ratings, and in 2011 basically created an entire new brand for FX with American Horror Story, which kicked off a trend of anthology-type series. That continued with the critically acclaimed American Crime Story and Feud, and indeed under Murphy’s Fox deal he’s really only had one dud so far, the FOX comedy series Scream Queens which only lasted two seasons. This past fall he launched the popular FOX procedural 9-1-1.
But Murphy’s future with 20th Century Fox was in doubt as his deal was coming to a close this year and news of Disney’s purchase of Fox—which would include FX—added a shroud of uncertainty to Murphy’s future at the network. Disney CEO Bob Iger tried to ease his concerns, but in the end Murphy decided to jump ship over to Netflix, where he had already begun a relationship.
Indeed Nip/Tuck was the first TV show Netflix ever licensed, and the success of American Horror Story on the streaming service helped boost that show’s ratings. Last year Murphy set up his first Netflix series, a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel called Ratched with Sarah Paulson, and earlier this month Murphy sold another huge show to Netflix, the Ben Platt-fronted The Politician. Now that relationship will continue with even more shows and films.
The promise of creative freedom and the opportunity to make more features no doubt played a major factor in Murphy’s decision, as he’s previously helmed the features Running with Scissors, Eat Pray Love, and The Normal Heart.
Murphy has a number of shows still running at FX that he will presumably continue to oversee, like new seasons of American Crime Story, American Horror Story, and Feud as well as the upcoming new series Pose. But when it comes to new Ryan Murphy shows, it sounds like you’re gonna have to head to Netflix for that. It’s the end of an era, truly.