Netflix has hired television producer Ryan Murphy, known for the hit series “Glee” and “American Horror Story,” in a five-year deal to create exclusive series and films, the company announced late Tuesday.
The deal is expected to be worth up to $300 million, both The New York Times and Deadline reported, which, if true, would be one of the biggest for a producer ever made. It also reflects a major blow to 21st Century Fox, the longtime home of many of Murphy’s hallmark series over the last decade.
“Ryan Murphy’s series have influenced the global cultural zeitgeist, reinvented genres and changed the course of television history,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement about the hiring. “His celebrated body of work and his contributions to our industry speak for themselves, and we look forward to supporting Ryan in bringing his broad and diverse stories to the world.”
In his own statement, Murphy said he planned to continue to “champion women, minorities and LGBTQ heroes and heroines” in his new body of work when he starts in July after his current contract expires. Netflix said two new series, “Ratched” and “The Politician,” will premiere soon after.
“The history of this moment is not lost on me,” Murphy said in a statement. “I am a gay kid from Indiana who moved to Hollywood in 1989 with $55 in savings in my pocket, so the fact that my dreams have crystallized and come true in such a major way is emotional and overwhelming to me.
The move is the latest star hire by the streaming behemoth in the past six months. In August, the company poached Shonda Rhimes, the creator of “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” away from ABC. Her four-year deal was reportedly worth $100 million.
Netflix said in October that it planned to spend up to $8 billion on original content in 2018 in an effort to make its vast arsenal of movies and television shows 50 percent original programming. The company has steadily been increasing its subscriber base, and as of mid-January it had more than 117 million monthly customers.
Murphy will continue to produce shows for 21st Century Fox, where he has nearly a half-dozen series currently in production, including “American Crime Story,” “Feud” and a new drama called “Pose,” about the vogueing scene in 1980s New York City.
Netflix welcomed Murphy on Twitter shortly after the news was made public.