Ryan Murphy, one of the most successful and prolific TV show creators in Hollywood, is leaving Netflix for Disney after signing a five-year deal with the streaming giant in 2018 that was worth up to $300 million.
Murphy is known for creating and producing hit shows such as Glee, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck, and 9-1-1 at Fox, where he worked with Dana Walden and John Landgraf, who are now co-chair of Disney Entertainment and head of FX, respectively. He left Fox for Netflix as the Disney-Fox deal was in process, in what was then seen as a coup for the streaming service.
“Looking back, I honestly feel that had they come in with a number that had been [closer to his expectations]…I would’ve gone there,” Murphy said in 2018 about why he chose Netflix over Fox.
However, Murphy’s initial shows for Netflix failed to make a splash with audiences and critics. The Politician, Hollywood, Ratched, and The Prom were all met with mixed reviews and lukewarm reception. “Journalists and executives debated whether the problem was Netflix, which offered Murphy too much latitude, or Murphy, who had lost his golden touch,” Bloomberg News reported.
Murphy finally found his groove with Dahmer-Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, a true crime series that debuted last year. It ranks among Netflix’s 10 most-watched original series ever. Another hit, The Watcher, followed not long after. Both shows have been renewed for second seasons and are expected to do well at the Emmys.
Yet by late last year, Murphy was already talking to Disney about coming back. He had continued to work with Walden and Landgraf on shows such as Pose and American Crime Story at FX, and kept an office on the Fox lot. He also maintained a close personal friendship with Walden, who is the godmother to his two children.
“It’s not a shocking move given that Murphy has continued to produce shows for Disney Entertainment co-chairman Dana Walden —a close personal friend and godmother to his two children—and FX chairman John Landgraf,” Vanity Fair wrote.
Murphy has been negotiating a new deal with Disney for the past year, but he will still work on the shows he created for Netflix. “He’ll still work with Netflix on the shows he’s created for them,” The New York Times said.
Murphy’s move to Disney is a blow for Netflix, which has invested heavily in signing top talent such as Shonda Rhimes and David Fincher to produce original content for its platform. However, it also means that Netflix won’t have to pay Murphy such a hefty deal anymore.
Murphy is one of the most influential and versatile producers in modern TV, with multiple Emmy nominations and wins for his FX series American Crime Story and Pose. He has explored various genres and themes in his shows, from musical comedy to horror to true crime to social justice. His fans will be eager to see what he will create next at Disney.
– ‘Dahmer’ Producer Ryan Murphy Plans to Leave Netflix For Disney, Bloomberg News, June 20, 2023
– Report: After a Bumpy Netflix Run, Ryan Murphy Is Departing for Disney, Vanity Fair, June 20, 2023
– ‘Dahmer’ producer Ryan Murphy plans to leave Netflix for Disney, Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2023
– Producer Ryan Murphy Is Expected to Move to Disney, The New York Times, June 21, 2023