Right now, Netflix owns the world of broadcast entertainment, solidified by the fact that they just nabbed Ryan Murphy’s one-hour comedy series THE POLITICIAN after a week-long competitive bidding battle with other streaming services for the two-season straight-to-series order. Tony-winning Dear Evan Hanson and Pitch Perfect star Ben Platt is the lead on the show, while Oscar winners Barbra Streisand and Gwyneth Paltrow are in negotiations to co-star. The Tracking Board has confirmed this.
Murphy has had such a good relationship with Fox and its subsidiary FX over the years, it’s somewhat surprising to see him turn to a streaming service like Netflix for his latest two series, including the upcoming Ratched. This deal is thought to be the biggest TV package sale of the year, but it’s also significant because Murphy is the latest TV giant who has been taken to bed by Netflix, following deals with Shonda Rhimes and Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, whose series Disjointed is now in its second season on Netflix. Murphy’s future with Fox is uncertain with the impending Disney deal, and doing shows for Netflix might allow him to curtail dealing with FAA standards and practices on the series’ content.
Murphy had been writing the series with long-time collaborator Brad Falchuk, bringing in Glee co-creator Ian Brennan along the way with all three listed as co-creators. Paltrow, who is engaged to Falchuk, previously appeared on the trio’s show Glee.
There isn’t much details about the plot or the characters although Platt will play a wealthy Santa Barbara politician named Payton with each season following a different political race in which he’s involved. Platt will also act as a producer on the show and has been involved with the casting around him, and it’s rumored that he might even perform a few musical numbers.
Murphy plans to direct the pilot for The Politician, a “comedy with social commentary,” similar to his other shows, and there’s a chance that Streisand might direct a few episodes if her deal closes. The Politician is slated to start production in the late fall.
The project comes from Fox 21 TV Studios through Murphy’s deal with 20th Century Fox TV, with the package being guided by Fox TV Group Chairman Dana Walden, who oversees the studio and has worked with Murphy on many of his previous series.
This news comes shortly after the debut of Falchuk and Murphy’s drama series 911, which was renewed for a second season after two episodes. The Politician is the duo’s fourth series together as co-creators, including 911, American Horror Story and the upcoming Pose. Murphy was also behind the FX hit dramas American Crime Story and Feud, both of which were Emmy and Golden Globe nominees. Murphy’s upcoming Netflix series Ratched followers a younger Nurse Ratched, the antagonist from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Represented by CAA and One Entertainment, Platt is best known for playing the title role in the hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, for which he won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Platt also played Elder Arnold Cunningham in The Book of Mormon and Benji Applebaum in the hit movie musical Pitch Perfect and its sequel.
Murphy is also repped by CAA.
The news was initially reported on by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor