Pro­ducer Mur­phy gives Net­flix an edge

USA TODAY International Edition - - LIFE - Jayme Deer­wester

Seven months af­ter Net­flix nabbed mega-pro­ducer Shonda Rhimes, the stream­ing giant has lured the equally pro­lific Ryan Mur­phy from his long­time home at 20th Cen­tury Fox. It’s a big get for Net­flix and a big pay­day for Mur­phy, but what does it mean for fans of such shows as Amer­i­can Crime Story? We an­swer your burn­ing ques­tions.

Are all of his shows mov­ing to Net­flix now?

No. His cur­rent se­ries will con­tinue air­ing as long as their net­works re­new them. Their cur­rent sta­tus:

❚ Amer­i­can Crime Story (cur­rently mid­way through its sec­ond sea­son on FX, about the killer of de­signer Gianni Ver­sace). Mur­phy is at work on the third and fourth sea­sons, about Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina and the Clin­ton-Lewin­sky scan­dal, re­spec­tively.

❚ Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story , the FX an­thol­ogy se­ries, has been re­newed for two more sea­sons on FX.

❚ 9-1-1, Fox’s hit emer­gency res­cue drama star­ring Con­nie Brit­ton, Pe­ter Krause and An­gela Bas­sett.

❚ Feud, which fol­lows its first story about Bette Davis and Joan Craw­ford with a sec­ond on FX about Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.

❚ Pose, a new FX se­ries about New York’s ball­room danc­ing and club scenes in the late 1980s.

Which shows will be on Net­flix?

Mur­phy al­ready had sold two shows to Net­flix un­der his cur­rent pact at 20th Cen­tury Fox, which ex­pires July 1: Ratched, an ori­gin story about the in­fa­mous nurse from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; and The Politi­cian, a com­edy star­ring Tony win­ner Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen, Pitch Per­fect).

What hap­pens to the shows that are al­ready on Net­flix?

Net­flix has li­cens­ing deals for Amer­i­can Crime Story, Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story and Glee. But those shows are owned by Fox, and if the sale goes through, Dis­ney could pull them once cur­rent li­cens­ing deals ex­pire.

Dis­ney has an­nounced plans to re­move con­tent from Net­flix in 2019, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of cre­at­ing its own stream­ing ser­vice.

Why is Mur­phy leav­ing Fox?

Dis­ney’s plan to ac­quire Fox likely played a role. Dur­ing the Tele­vi­sion Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion’s win­ter press tour

in Jan­u­ary, Mur­phy ex­pressed trep­i­da­tion over what a Dis­ney-owned Fox might mean for his edgy shows, in­clud­ing the up­com­ing Pose, which will fea­ture TV’s largest trans­gen­der cast.

Mur­phy, 52, told re­porters, “I got a call from (Fox owner Ru­pert) Mur­doch

and I got a call from (Dis­ney chief Bob) Iger, and I said point blank, ‘The stuff I do is not Dis­ney. Am I go­ing to have to put Mickey Mouse in Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story ?’”

What does Mur­phy get out of this deal?

Even more free­dom than he now has. Since Net­flix is sub­scriber-funded, he won’t have to worry about net­work cen­sors, alien­at­ing advertisers, or get­ting notes from Dis­ney min­ders. His shows will be avail­able world­wide on Net­flix’s global stream­ing ser­vice.

And then there’s the money. The New York Times es­ti­mates his five-year deal at $300 mil­lion.

What does Net­flix get?

By sign­ing Mur­phy, who has been at Fox for more than a decade, and Grey’s Anatomy pro­ducer Shonda Rhimes, Net­flix gains fur­ther le­git­i­macy as a com­peti­tor to the broad­cast and ca­ble net­works.


Fox keeps “9-1-1,” star­ring Oliver Stark, Pe­ter Krause and An­gela Bas­sett.


Dar­ren Criss plays killer An­drew Cu­nanan in FX's “The As­sas­si­na­tion of Gianni Ver­sace: Amer­i­can Crime Story.”


Ryan Mur­phy will move to Net­flix this sum­mer.

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