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Script competition

Ryan Murphy signs $300m Netflix pact

Ryan Murphy, producer and creator of Golden Globe-winning anthology series American Horror Story, has signed an exclusive multi-year production deal worth a reported US$300m with streaming giant Netflix.

Ryan Murphy

Murphy and his Ryan Murphy Productions shingle will produce new series and films exclusively for the SVoD service. Murphy will move to Netflix on July 1 when his current deal with 20th Century Fox Television expires.

The agreement strikes another blow for OTT services against traditional broadcasters. The Glee creator is following in the footsteps of Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder showrunner and exec producer Shonda Rhimes, who left Disney-owned ABC last year to join Netflix after signing a similar multi-year pact.

It marks another seismic shift in the TV landscape, following Disney’s deal to acquire assets from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, including 20th Century Fox Television, for US$52.4bn.

Netflix’s coup in bringing Murphy onboard will likely increase friction between the two companies. Disney lost Rhimes a week after saying it would be pulling its movies from the streamer because it intended to launch its own SVoD service.

The move comes as SVoD giants are jockeying for position with traditional broadcasters, and follows Netflix’s announcement it aims to spend US$8bn on original content in 2018.

“Ryan Murphy’s series have influenced the global cultural zeitgeist, reinvented genres and changed the course of television history,” said Ted Sandaros, chief content officer at Netflix. “From Nip/Tuck – our first licensed series – to American Crime Story: The People v OJ Simpson and American Horror Story, we’ve seen how his brand of storytelling captivates consumers and critics across the globe.”

Murphy’s relationship with Netflix has grown closer recently, after it ordered comedy series The Politician from him and fellow Glee creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan.

This followed last year’s order for two 18-episode seasons of Ratched, a drama produced and exec produced by Murphy and based on the Nurse Ratched character from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Murphy also oversees production of FX series American Crime Story, American Horror Story, Feud, 9-1-1 and the upcoming Pose.

Along with Falchuk and Brennan, Murphy oversaw the multiple Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning musical-comedy series Glee, and also directed the hit film Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem.

He also launched Half, an initiative aiming to make Hollywood more inclusive by creating equal opportunities for women and minorities behind the camera.

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