After a $300 million deal, Ryan Murphy is coming full circle, sort of. The creator of ‘Glee’ and ‘American Horror Story’ is reportedly planning to leave Netflix for a new deal with Disney Corporation, bringing him back into the fold with several of his collaborators from their 20th Century Fox TV days.
According to a report by Bloomberg On Tuesday, Murphy still hasn’t finalized his deal with Disney, but he’s spent the past year negotiating with the House of Mouse and reportedly managed to iron out the details before the writers’ strike kicks off in May (with the current ongoing strike, television development and negotiation is largely paused). Murphy’s Netflix deal, first signed in 2018, will expire in July.
If the deal goes through, Murphy will reunite Dana Walden, who served as CEO and head of Fox Television when Murphy worked there from 2003, with the premiere of her show “Nip/Tuck,” through 2018. from Walden, Murphy has risen to become one of the industry’s most successful and prominent showrunners, through hit shows like ‘Glee’ for Fox and ‘American Horror Story’, ‘American Crime Story’ and ‘Pose’ for FX. Walden joined Disney when the company acquired Fox in 2019 and currently serves as co-chairman of Disney Entertainment responsible for overseeing television production.
When Murphy left Fox for Netflix, his $300 million deal was one of the largest for any TV creator in history. But critically and commercially, his shows have struggled to match the heights of his work for Fox, which has earned him six Emmys out of 36 nominations. Unlike the gigantic success of Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Bridgerton’ and ‘Inventing Anna’, another big showrunner who landed at Netflix in a lucrative deal at the same time, many of Murphy’s shows, including ‘The Politician’, ‘Hollywood “, “Ratched ” and “Halston” — failed to attract a strong audience and was mostly negatively received by critics.
Things seemed to be starting to change for Murphy at Netflix last year, with the one-two punch of true-crime series “The Watcher” and “Dahmer – Monster.” Both shows currently rank in Netflix’s Top 10 Most Popular English-Language TV Originals and have been renewed for a second season. Murphy will also be going to Disney with several shows he created previously that are still ongoing, including the FX series ‘American Horror Story’ and ‘American Crime Story’ and the ABC procedural series ‘9-1-1.
IndieWire has reached out to Murphy’s reps for comment.