FX Points to Deep Bench of Originals, Producers in Response to Ryan Murphy's Netflix Move

The cable network has four shows from the prolific producer.
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Ryan Murphy (left) and John Landgraf

FX, hours after seeing Ryan Murphy move from corporate sibling 20th Century Fox Television to streaming giant Netflix, has weighed in on the loss of its most prolific producer.

“For more than 15 years, we have enjoyed an outstanding partnership with Ryan Murphy and we look forward to continuing that relationship on our four shows under his creative leadership," FX CEO John Landgraf said Wednesday in a statement. "With more than 20 scripted original series on our schedule or upcoming, FX has a very successful track record of identifying and developing talented writers who have produced award-winning hit shows and it will continue to do so. The network has an outstanding slate of development and FX Productions has the finest roster of producers in our history. We will continue to provide creative freedom and support for artists of all backgrounds to tell diverse stories and do their best work.”

Murphy on Tuesday signed a five-year, first-look deal with Netflix that is reportedly worth $300 million. His defection marks a blow to 20th Television and FX Productions, for whom he produces hits American Crime Story, American Horror Story, Feud and the forthcoming Pose.

20th TV had been Murphy's longtime home, where he produced hits including global phenomenon Glee for Fox and helped redefine the modern anthology drama with FX's American Horror Story. Murphy has been behind many of FX's most recent hits including Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon's Feud, People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story — which took home the Emmy for limited series — and American Horror Story. Next up is Pose, which will make TV history with the largest number of transgender series regular actors. 

FX's Landgraf was asked in January about his network's reliance on single producers — like Murphy — to provide multiple programs.

"We have not been a business or a channel that has bought developed or established talent, gone out into the marketplace with a massive checkbook and bought established talent," he said. "We’re a place where people have come to make their first show or their first successful show over and over and over again. That’s our business ... finding the voices that you guys you know, the Louis C.K.s before he made Louie or the Pamela Adlons before she made Better Things or the Donald Glover before Atlanta. You know, you just think back to most of our successful shows come from ideas and/or people you would not have expected to be able to make something of that caliber. And I don’t think anything, any force on Earth can keep us from doing that. That’s what we do."

News of Murphy's defection comes after the prolific producer told reporters last month that he expected to be buried on the Fox lot that he had called home since 2003. His decision to leave the studio comes as 20th Television and FX are among the assets poised to become Disney properties as Fox awaits regulatory approval of the $52 billion sale.

Among the talent deals at FX are Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley; Glover; You're the Worst's Stephen Falk; and Sons of Anarchy boss Kurt Sutter, the latter of whom recently renewed his overall deal with FXP and 20th TV. FX's drama slate includes Noah Hawley's Fargo, awaiting a formal season four renewal; Legion; Snowfall; Taboo; Danny Boyle's Trust; Sutter's Sons of Anarchy spinoff, Mayans MC; and the final season of The Americans.

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