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Netflix nabbed another one. The digital service’s five-year, $300 million deal with uber producer Ryan Murphy once again sends a shock wave straight to the traditional TV ecosystem. Murphy leaves his longtime home at 20th Century Fox TV, where his contract was set to expire in July.
It’s a reminder to broadcast and cable networks alike that even if they cultivate A-plus talent, those superstar producers will eventually head to greener streamer pastures.
Time - Surprise - Murphy - Shonda - Rhimes
At the same time, it’s no longer a surprise. Murphy, after all, follows Shonda Rhimes, the “Grey’s Anatomy” executive producer whose Shondaland brand was too valuable to remain inside a traditional company. Rhimes signed a rich deal last fall to join Netflix after 15 years at Disney/ABC.
And it’s also another aggressive play by Netflix to secure, in Rhimes and Murphy, two producers whom might have otherwise been producing new hit shows for Disney’s planned rival streaming service.
Ryan - Murphy - Series - Zeitgeist - Genres
“Ryan Murphy’s series have influenced the global cultural zeitgeist, reinvented genres and changed the course of television history,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “We’ve seen how his brand of storytelling captivates consumers and critics across the globe.”
A Murphy move seemed unlikely just a few months ago, as he has long enjoyed a fruitful relationship with 20th — and in particular, a partnership with Fox Entertainment chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman. But Disney’s announced acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s filmed assets threw that all up in the air, leaving it uncertain whom he’d be working for had he renewed his deal there. The recent news that Comcast might still make a play for the Fox studio and cable network assets further added a level of instability.
Speculation - Walden - Murphy - Production - Company
Meanwhile, there had been speculation that Walden and Murphy might launch a new production company together, in the model of Carsey-Werner. When asked about his future...
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