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Netflix has ordered two additional installments of Monster after huge viewing figures for its Jeffrey Dahmer-focused season and picked up a second season of The Watcher. The former will become an anthology series a la Murphy’s FX shows American Horror Story and American Crime Story, with “stories of other monstrous figures who have impacted society,” per Netflix. Creative details about season two of The Watcher are being kept quiet for now, so it’s unclear if it too will become an anthology or continue the unsettling story from the first season, which left several things open-ended.
Murphy and long-time collaborator Ian Brennan created Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and the two teamed with Narcos boss Eric Newman on The Watcher.
“Audiences can’t take their eyes off Monster and The Watcher. The creative team of Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan on Monster along with Eric Newman on The Watcher are masterful storytellers who captivated audiences all over the world,” Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria said in a statement. “The back-to-back force of these two series is due to Ryan’s distinct original voice, which created cultural sensations, and we are thrilled to continue telling stories in the Monster and Watcher universes.”
Dahmer, starring Evan Peters as the infamous serial killer, became Netflix’s second most-watched English-language series — and third in any language — over its first four weeks. It racked up more than 856 million hours of viewing worldwide, according to the streamer’s internal metrics. (Only Squid Game and Stranger Things 4 have topped it.) Dahmer stands at 934 million hours as of Nov. 1, the streamer says.
The Watcher, based on a New York magazine article and starring Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale, piled up almost 341 million hours of worldwide viewing in the 18 days after its Oct. 13 premiere.
Securing the future of both Monster and The Watcher is vital for Netflix. Murphy has been based at the streamer since July 2018 when he signed a five-year, $300 million overall deal with the streaming giant. Since then, Murphy had struggled to deliver a breakout hit the way he had for his previous home at Disney with the likes of American Horror Story, American Crime Story and Feud at FX as well as procedurals like Fox’s 911 franchise.
Until Monster and The Watcher, Murphy’s Netflix series included the comparitively little-watched Hollywood, The Politician, Ratched and Halston. What’s more, Murphy made waves in August 2021 when Disney announced it was re-teaming with the prolific showrunner for two new installments of the American Story franchises — American Love Story and American Sports Story — while Murphy was in the throes of his Netflix deal. That reignited a wave of industry rumors that Murphy was planning to reunite with Dana Walden and return to Disney when his Netflix deal expires in July 2023. By solidifying the futures of both Monster and The Watcher, Netflix has guaranteed it will remain in business with Murphy should the creator behind hits like Glee return to Disney as has been widely speculated.
Murphy, Brennan and Ryan Murphy Productions’ Alexis Martin Woodall and Eric Kovtun executive produce both series. Janet Mock, Carl Franklin and Peters are also EPs on Dahmer, while Newman, Bryan Unkeless, Paris Barclay, Watts, Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost and Scoop Wasserstein also exec produced season one of The Watcher.
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