Ryan Murphy, the producer known for creating shows like Glee and the Dahmer anthology, is planning to leave Netflix and join Disney after his current contract ends, according to our reasearch.
He signed a five-year deal with Netflix in 2018, worth up to $300 million, to make exclusive content for the streaming platform. However, the specifics of his contract with Disney are not clear yet.
One of Murphy’s most popular series on Netflix is Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, a true crime anthology about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
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It ranks among the top 10 most-watched English series on Netflix, with over 1 billion hours viewed in just 60 days. Murphy also produced The Watcher, a mystery thriller based on a true story, which received 273 million viewing hours in its first two weeks on the platform.
While Netflix has attracted many high-profile producers in recent years, it also needs to retain talent as contracts come to an end. Kenya Barris, the producer of Black-ish, left Netflix halfway through his $100 million contract in 2021 due to creative differences.
Netflix wanted more mainstream programming, while Barris desired edgier content, as he mentioned in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
Another Netflix contract that may soon expire is with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones, who signed with Netflix in 2019 after a decade at HBO. They are reportedly employed for five years, so they will need to either renew their contract or sign with a different company soon.
While at Netflix, they have worked on projects like The Chair, a dramedy series starring Sandra Oh, Metal Lords, a dramedy film about high schoolers forming a metal band, and they are currently developing 3 Body Problem, a science fiction show set to premiere in January 2024.
Producer Shonda Rhimes, known for Grey’s Anatomy, initially signed with Netflix in 2017 and extended her deal by five years in 2021. Three of her shows on Netflix, including Inventing Anna and two seasons of Bridgerton, are among the most-watched on the platform.
Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, a producing duo, have a partnership with Netflix through their production company, Berlanti-Schechter Films, founded in 2020. Netflix has the first option to pick up films produced by their company, but no movies have been selected yet, and the duration of the deal is unclear.
Additionally, Berlanti has worked on Netflix shows like You and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, as well as known for his work on Riverdale and Dawson’s Creek. Schechter has also produced Riverdale and The Flash television series.
Vanity Fair Twitter post on Ryan Murphy’s Departure from Netflix:
Ryan Murphy is reportedly leaving Netflix for Disney. https://t.co/01M4VcbaoZ
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) June 21, 2023
Ryan Murphy’s Blockbuster Hits on Netflix
Ryan Murphy has produced six films and seven television shows for Netflix. Some notable movies include Pray Away, a documentary about conversion therapy, and The Prom, a musical comedy that Murphy also directed.
In television, he served as a writer, director, and executive producer for various titles, such as The Watcher, Hollywood (a drama about post-World War II filmmakers), and The Politician (a dramedy series about the American political system starring Ben Platt).
Before working with Netflix, Murphy created shows like Glee, American Horror Story, and Scream Queens. He also directed the film Eat, Pray, Love. In his earlier career, Murphy worked as a journalist for The Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, and Entertainment Weekly.
His entry into the film industry happened when Steven Spielberg acquired the rights to a romantic comedy Murphy wrote called Why Can’t I Be Audrey Hepburn?, although the movie was never released.
If Murphy joins Disney, he would be working under Dana Walden, the co-chairman of Disney Entertainment. Murphy and Walden have a close personal and professional relationship, having collaborated on Glee and American Horror Story while working at Fox.
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