10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Ryan Murphy Comedy-Horror Anthology Ordered to Series at Fox
With Glee's end in sight, Fox is making sure the network stays in business with Glee creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk and the entire creative team behind the high school-set musical.
The network has handed out a straight-to-series order for comedy-horror anthology Scream Queens, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
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The 15-episode hourlong comedy will premiere in the fall of 2015, with season one revolving around a college campus that's rocked by a series of murders. New settings and storylines will be featured in subsequent seasons of the anthology series.
The series hails from 20th Century Fox Television, where Murphy and Falchuk are under rich overall deals. Glee's Murphy, Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Loreto will exec produce.
“I knew I wanted to work with Brad and Ian again on something comedic, and we are having a blast writing Scream Queens,” Murphy said. “We hope to create a whole new genre — comedy-horror — and the idea is for every season to revolve around two female leads. We’ve already begun a nationwide search for those women, as well as 10 other supporting roles, and we’re very grateful to [Fox TV Group chairmen and CEOs] Dana [Walden] and Gary [Newman] for their enthusiastic support.”
“One of our top priorities at the network has been to get Ryan Murphy to create a new series for Fox. We loved every element of the pitch for this show — the genre-bending concept, which blends true horror with big comedic moments; the diverse and unforgettable characters and reuniting the phenomenal creative team that delivered Glee,” Walden and Newman said. “Scream Queens will go straight to series. It’s a huge commitment and an expression of our faith in Ryan. We are ecstatic to have him, along with Brad, Ian and Dante as our partners on this exciting ride.”
The series pickup gives Murphy and Falchuk three series on the air — all of them anthologies: FX's American Horror Story, already renewed for a fifth cycle, and companion series American Crime Story, which does not yet have a premiere date, are the other two.
The series order expands Murphy and Falchuk's relationship with Walden and Newman. Both Murphy and Falchuk were key producers at 20th TV for Walden and Newman.
Scream Queens marks the first series order at Fox for the 2015-16 television season — and the first pickup for Walden and Newman as network toppers. The comedy anthology marks the latest straight-to-series pickup for next season, joining NBC's Jennifer Lopez cop drama Shades of Blue, anthology drama Manhunt, as well as mini Heroes: Reborn.
The drama comes as straight-to-series orders have become increasingly popular as broadcast networks dole out larger commitments in a bid to compete with cable and streaming services like Netflix, though the practice hasn't always worked out. NBC recently dropped Wizard of Oz-themed drama Emerald City after handing out a 10-episode straight-to-series order, while Fox axed ancient Egyptian drama Hieroglyph after fully casting the project and filming the pilot.
Murphy is repped by CAA; Falchuk is with WME and Gendler & Kelly.