Ryan Murphy, the megaproducer of television shows such as “American Horror Story” and “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” is on the verge of moving his business to the Walt Disney Company. This news comes five years after he shocked Hollywood by moving his production company to Netflix in exchange for a $300 million contract.
According to three sources who have been informed on the situation and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions, the negotiations over the deal with Disney have not yet been completed. One of the persons added that they do not anticipate any deals being finalised until after the screenwriters’ strike in Hollywood has been settled. Writers in the film and television industries who are members of unions have been on strike since May 1.
However, according to the sources, Mr. Murphy and Disney are making progress in their discussions. At the end of this month, Mr. Murphy’s employment agreement with Netflix will come to an end. Discussions on a renewal with Netflix were never able to get off the ground.
Representatives representing Mr. Murphy, Disney, and Netflix either did not comment or did not answer calls for them to do so. The impending relocation of Mr. Murphy to Disney was first reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday morning.
Mr. Murphy would be officially reunited with officials at Disney with whom he had worked closely for more than a decade if a deal were to be struck with the company. Disney is the owner of the cable channel FX, which serves as the flagship installment of Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story” series, which debuted in 2011. (The series is also available to watch on Hulu, which is owned and operated by Disney.) ABC, a broadcast network that is controlled by Disney, has just acquired the rights to “9-1-1,” a drama that Mr. Murphy produced for Fox in 2018.
When Mr. Murphy inked his Netflix agreement in February of 2018, it was only six months after another great producer, Shonda Rhimes, had signed her own nine-figure contract with the streaming business. Mr. Murphy’s arrangement was the first major production deal to be struck with Netflix. Netflix made it very clear with two consecutive signings that it was in the business of paying any price for well-known authors by demonstrating that it is in this line of work. As a result of this, it sparked a competition for dominance in Hollywood, which has now mostly subsided due to larger worries over the streaming industry and the strike by Hollywood writers.
The first few months of Mr. Murphy’s employment at Netflix were rocky to say the least. Among the unsuccessful titles were “The Politician” and “Hollywood.” It was not until September of this past year that Mr. Murphy delivered genuine smashes in the form of “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” and “The Watcher.” According to the streaming site, both of these shows are now ranked in the 10 most-viewed Netflix of all time.
Mr. Murphy, who kept developing series for Disney despite the fact that he was under contract with Netflix — fresh seasons of “9-1-1” and “American Crime Story” went apace — would similarly continue to produce projects for Netflix even after moving to Disney. Both “Monster” and “The Watcher” have been given the green light for more seasons.