Ryan Murphy: The King of Television?

Imagine it's 2009 and you see this little show about some kids singing at their school choir and doing crazy things. Flashforward a couple of years and Glee is everywhere! Ryan Murphy was one of the masterminds behind the show and so many others, let's see what else the director, writer, creator and producer has done.


Murphy majored in Journalism at Indiana University Bloomington and his first jobs were at newsrooms. His first television project was the teen comedy series Popular that went on from 1999 to 2001 where he was credited as creator, executive producer, writer and director of the show. His next show was the FX drama Nip/Tuck, which earned him his first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Directing for Drama Series. The show went on from 2003 to 2010, it ended after six seasons. For this one, Murphy was also credited as creator, executive producer, writer and director. 

But we could say his big break came with Glee in 2009. Murphy co-created the show with Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, who he would later collaborate again in other productions. The show ran for 6 seasons and earned Murphy his first Emmy for directing the pilot episode. Glee was a groundbreaking show when it came out in 2009, it was about outcasts, people we don't see in movies and shows. The showed dealt with many important issues, some really well, and others, not so good, like coming out and understanding your sexuality, teen pregnancy and bullying. 

In 2010, Murphy also wrote and directed the 2010 adaptation of Eat, Pray, Love, which was a box office success but not very well received by the critics. One year later, Murphy's anthology series American Horror Story premiered on FX. He created the show alongside Glee's Falchuk and they both received a lot of praise for it. The show's 10th season is set to come out in 2021.


One of his best productions is FX's American Crime Story, which was critically acclaimed and earned Murphy multiple awards. This show is another anthology series produced by Murphy that tells the story of different real life events each season. The People v O.J Simpson, the show's first season, came out in 2016 and it dealt with the murder trial of O.J Simpson. The show won an Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series. The second season, starring Glee's Darren Criss, was about the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace and it premiered in 2018. The Assassination of Gianni Versace also won the Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series and this time, earned Murphy another award for his directing. A third season about U.S President Bill Clinton's impeachment is being developed. 

Murphy and the other creators of Glee, Falchuck and Brennan, also created another show, the comedy-horror series Scream Queens, that came out in 2015 and was cancelled after two seasons. In 2018, Murphy also co-created a show about first responders, 9-1-1 at FOX, where he also served as director, writer and executive producer. The show has been renewed for a fourth season and in 2019 a spin-off show that premiered in 2020. 

Another big project of Murphy's is Pose, a drama from FX that came out in 2013. Pose is set in New York City in the 80s and tells the story of a group of African-American and Latino LGBT and gender non-conforming people. The show received great praise and earned a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series at the 2019's Emmy Awards. Pose is also a breakthrough for the trans community, its first season had the biggest cast of transgender actor ever scripted for a network series. Murphy, being a part of the LGBTQP+ community himself, donated all of his profits from Pose to organizations that work with LGBTQP+ people. "I just decided I need to do more than just making a show for this community. I want to reach out and help this community," he told Variety


In 2018, at 52, Murphy signed a 300 million dollar five-year deal with Netflix, what is possibly the most lucrative contract in television history. The deal came after Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes' 150 million dollar deal with the streaming company. Before signing with Netflix, Murphy had been working with Fox for almost two decades and was being sought out by other companies as well, such as Disney and Amazon. In the end, Murphy chose to go with Netflix. “Ryan Murphy’s series have influenced the global cultural zeitgeist, reinvented genres and changed the course of television history,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos about the deal. Soon after, Murphy's first Netflix show came out in 2019, the teen drama The Politician

2020 was a big year for Ryan Murphy, with the new deal with Netflix, he was behind six new productions while also working on his other shows at Fox and FX. 9-1-1's spin-off 9-1-1: Lone Star premiered at Fox on January 2020 followed by the renewal of Murphy's American Horror Story for three more seasons on the same month. 


In April 2020, his 2020 Netflix productions started coming out. The first one was A Secret Love, a documentary that tells a lesbian love story, that has been critically acclaimed and received 100% of approval at the critics' site Rotten Tomatoes. Then, the miniseries Hollywood came out in May, which was also praised by the critics and even received some awards nominations. The Politician's second season came out in June and in September the show Ratched, a prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest starring Sarah Paulson premiered on Netflix. In the same month, the movie The Boys in the Band, an adaptation of Murphy's 2018's Broadway revival of 1968's homonymous play by Mart Crowley. Murphy's last production set to come out this year, in December, is The Prom, a movie musical with an ensemble cast. 

With his productions, Murphy is known for telling the stories of women, minorities and LGBTQP+ people, as we can see from Glee, The Politician and Pose. Additionally, he also hires people from these communities to work in front of the camera and behind it. His shows might have some problems and issues, but still, he has opened the door for many actors and storytellers in Hollywood and has changed television with his characteristic style, from Glee to The People v O.J Simpson