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 shows like 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. Here's a list and their current status:
- American Crime Story (currently midway through its second season on FX, about the killer of designer Gianni Versace). Murphy is currently at work on the third and fourth seasons, about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, respectively.
- American Horror Story , the FX anthology series, has been renewed for two more seasons, with Season 8 set to air later this year.
- 9-1-1, Fox's hit emergency rescue drama starring Connie Britton, Peter Krause and Angela Bassett, has already been renewed for a second season.
- Feud follows its first story about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford with a second season on FX focusing on the dissolution of the marriage of 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, is due this summer and features a large transgender cast.
Which shows will be on Netflix?
Murphy had already 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).
Any new shows he creates after July 1 will be developed through Netflix.
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 that network's sale goes through, Disney could pull them once current licensing deals expire.
Disney has already announced plans to remove content from Netflix in 2019, in anticipation of creating its own streaming service. The shows could also be parked at Netflix rival Hulu, which Disney will control if it buys Fox.
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.
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?' "
The pending deal also leaves uncertain the future of his biggest champion at Fox Television Group, chairman-CEO Dana Walden, who might bolt when the network and studio she oversees are split.
What does Murphy get out of this deal?
Even more freedom than he now gets. 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, simultaneously, on Netflix's global streaming service.
And then there's the money. The New York Times estimates his five-year deal at $300 million, though such deals typically include high staffing and other overhead costs.
What does Netflix get out of this deal?
Prestige. By signing Murphy, who's been at Fox for more than a decade, and Grey's Anatomy producer Shonda Rhimes (who's leaving ABC Studios after 15 years), Netflix gains further legitimacy as a competitor to the broadcast and cable networks as it lures away top talent.
Murphy, whose earlier credits include FX's Nip/Tuck and Glee, also furthers Netflix's relentless quest for world domination, as it lures top producing talent to help win new subscribers.