'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' Prequel From Ryan Murphy Scores Two-Season Order at Netflix

Sarah Paulson will star as Nurse Ratched in the 18-episode series from exec producer Michael Douglas.
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Ryan Murphy

First Netflix stole Shonda Rhimes from ABC Studios, and now the streaming giant has scored a high-profile drama series from another of TV's most prolific producers.

Ratched, a prequel series from executive producer Ryan Murphy revolving around the character of Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, has landed at Netflix with a two-season, 18-episode order.

The project, with Emmy winner Sarah Paulson set to take on the role of Nurse Ratched, landed at Netflix following a competitive bidding process with Apple and Hulu also among the suitors. 

The series hails from Fox 21 Television Studios (where Murphy is under a rich overall deal) and counts Michael Douglas — who produced the original 1975 film adaptation — as an executive producer. Production will begin in the middle of 2018 with Murphy directing the pilot. Newcomer Evan Romansky penned the spec script, which was given to Murphy via his agent at CAA. Murphy spent a year securing rights to the character and the estate of original producer Saul Zaentz.

The origin story begins in 1947 and follows Ratched's journey and evolution from nurse to monster. The show will follow her deadly progression through the mental health care system.

Murphy, Douglas, Aleen Keshishian, Margaret Riley and Lighthouse Management Media's Jacob Epstein will exec produce; Romansky is credited as a co-executive producer. Paulson will produce alongside Saul Zaentz Co.'s Paul Zaentz, which owns the rights to the Oscar-winning film

Ratched will mark Murphy's first series for a streaming outlet. The show comes as Murphy recently launched FX anthology American Horror Story: Cult and next has American Crime Story: Versace as well as Feud and Pose for the cable network. On the broadcast side, he is readying procedural 911 for Fox for midseason. 

Paulson will film Ratched after the third season of the American Crime Story franchise, Katrina.

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