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Netflix Hires Away Star Producer at Fox

Joe Flint
Executive producer/writer/director Ryan Murphy arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere of "Feud: Bette and Joan" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

In the latest sign of the escalating battle for talent in the entertainment industry, Netflix Inc. has signed producer Ryan Murphy to a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal to create content exclusively for the streaming service starting this July.

Terms of the pact weren’t disclosed, but people familiar with the matter said the production agreement runs for five years and has an estimated value of $300 million. Mr. Murphy is currently based at 21st Century Fox, which bid aggressively to retain his services as he has created many hits for both Fox Broadcasting and the FX cable channel. Shows that Mr. Murphy has produced include “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story” and “Rescue 9-1-1.”

For Netflix, Mr. Murphy is the latest in a string of high- profile signings. Last August, it wooed away Shonda Rhimes, the creator of ABC hits such as “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” away from Walt Disney Co. It has been equally aggressive in signing up on-camera talent as well. David Letterman returned to television with a series of specials for Netflix.

Mr. Murphy’s decision to jump to Netflix comes just over a month after Disney struck a deal to acquire the bulk of entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox, including FX and the television-production studio he has called home for many years. A Disney spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Dana Walden, chairman of the Fox Television Group, didn’t respond to a request for comment. A representative for 21st Century Fox’s television studio also didn’t respond to a request for comment on the departure of Mr. Murphy.

21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp share common ownership.



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