Netflix nabbed one of TV’s most prolific creators

Ryan Murphy is moving to Netflix.
Ryan Murphy is moving to Netflix.
Image: AP Photo/Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Netflix just inked what may be the one of the biggest deals ever for a TV producer.

The streaming-video service reportedly paid (paywall) as much as $300 million to lock American Crime Story creator Ryan Murphy into a five-year deal to produce shows and movies exclusively for its platform, according to the New York Times. Netflix announced today that the deal would kick in on July 1, but did not disclose the terms. Murphy’s current contract with Fox expires this summer.

Murphy has overseen some of the most ground-breaking and popular programs on network TV in the last decade.

  • Pose (premiering summer 2018 on FX)
  • American Horror Story (2011-present)
  • American Crime Story (2016-present)
  • 9-1-1 (2018-present)
  • Feud (2017-present)
  • Scream Queens (2015-2016)
  • Glee (2009-2015)
  • The New Normal (2012-2013)
  • Nip/Tuck (2003-2010)
  • Popular (1999-2001)

Netflix previously picked up two TV series from the producer—Ratched and The Politician—for which it has not announced release dates.

Speculation that Murphy, who has spent much of his career making TV shows for Fox and FX, might leave Fox started late last year, after Disney’s bid to buy Fox cast a pall over the type of programming the new Disney-Fox might produce. Disney tends to produce family friendly programming while Murphy is well-known for edgy dramas. CEO Bob Iger reportedly called Murphy to reassure him that his tastes would be appreciated at Disney.

Netflix, which budgeted $8 billion on content this year, generally offers greater creative freedom than is generally found in traditional TV operations. Last year, Netflix poached another showrunner from Disney, Shonda Rhimes, who created shows such as Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy for ABC. Her TV catalog is equally impressive.

  • For the People (premiering March 2018 on ABC)
  • Scandal (2012-present)
  • How to Get Away with Murder (2014-present)
  • Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present)
  • Still Star-Crossed (2017)
  • The Catch (2016-2017)
  • Private Practice (2007-2013)
  • Off the Map (2011)

Netflix is trying to produce its own content to reduce reliance on licensed shows from other networks and studios. It bought its first company, comic-book creator Mark Millar’s Millarworld, last year as part of that effort.