Are TV Mega Deals Worth It? Why Studios Are Paying So Much for Producing Talent

“Whether or not the currency of dollars makes sense, the currency of prestige may at the end of the day win out,” one analyst tells TheWrap

NBCUniversal’s decision this week to pull “The Office” from Netflix is just the latest sign of the shifting landscape for streaming services. Even bigger changes are coming thanks to mega deals with many of the top producers in television.

But will those deals pay off?

The days of Netflix building a streaming business on classic TV shows appear to be numbered, which is why it was a coup for the streaming giant to secure the services of Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy. Netflix is hoping that the two uber-producers behind hits like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “American Horror Story” will keep it perched atop the rapidly-expanding streaming kingdom.

WarnerMedia, meanwhile, is prepared to give J.J. Abrams $500 million to help prop up its upcoming streaming service, while last week it was announced that longtime producer John Wells will help Warner Bros. TV take advantage of all the new content buyers, to the tune of a nine-figure sum.

This year alone also has seen studios pay up to either bring over or retain Dan Fogelman, Mike Schur, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, and “Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.

Analysts that spoke with…

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Tony Maglio


TV Editor • • Twitter: @tonymaglio