“American Horror Story” anthology series creator Ryan Murphy hasn’t yet made any decisions about the future of his company at a Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Television, but the producer says he’s going to wait and see how it all shakes out first.
“It’s a very emotional thing for me,” Murphy said of the Fox-Disney deal at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday. Murphy’s production company has long had a home at Fox, spanning nearly 15 years.
“Three months ago, I thought I would literally be buried on the Fox lot. I had my mausoleum picked out,” he said. “I grew up there. So I was very unprepared for what happened.”
But the mega-producer, who has proven to be a hitmaker for Fox and FX, said it was a call with Disney boss Bob Iger that restored his faith in the future.
“I got a call from Mr. Iger, and I said point-blank that what I do is not specifically Disney, and I’m not interested in that and I’m concerned about that,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Do I have to put Mickey Mouse in ‘American Horror Story’ now?’ ”
But Iger, whom he described as “very sweet and transparent,” assured him that Disney is spending $52.4 billion on Fox assets because it believes in the properties the studio has produced and the creators and executives it employs.
“I think that Mr. Iger has done an incredible job of taking communities and keeping those families in tact,” Murphy said, “Like Pixar, like Marvel. So I’m sort of interested to see what that company will look like before I make any decisions about where I’m going to go.”
Murphy’s career in television was launched by the success of the FX medical drama “Nip/Tuck” back in 2003, and the producer said he feels strong loyalty to Fox because the company gave him his break.
“[Before] I started with Fox, I was told I was somebody who was not employable. I was told I was somebody who was too specific and niche,” he said. “[“Nip/Tuck” worked, and I was given an opportunity. And from that I was allowed to create a career and I created — with Brad [Falchuk] and with Tim [Minear] and with other collaborators — things that I really loved.”
Murphy now has an executive producer credit on a number of Fox and FX shows, including “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” “Feud,” “9-1-1” and the upcoming “Pose.”
“On paper, all of those things have one thing in common, that they weren’t supposed to work,” Murphy said, attributing his success to the support of the executives at the network. “I have been surrounded since 2003 at Fox, with an incredible group of executives who have always allowed me to follow my interests and passions. And they believe in me.”
“I was surprised, but I’m very hopeful,” Murphy concluded.