Fox Television Group CEOs and co-chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman aren’t convinced that upstarts like Netflix and Apple are the best fit for content creators looking to sign overall deals.
The executives were among the featured speakers at TheWrap’s annual TheGrill media conference on Monday, where talk turned to Shonda Rhimes recently leaving her longtime home at ABC for a hefty multi-year deal with Netflix.
Walden pointed out that the TV producers who have overall deals with Fox, including Ryan Murphy and Seth MacFarlane, benefit from their shows potentially landing at the platform that would be the best fit, with Walden citing Murphy recently placing shows at Fox, FX and Netflix.
On the other hand, all of Rhimes’ new shows will launch on Netflix.
“It’s a content dump,” Walden said of Netflix. “They do support a lot of their shows, but you’re in and out of the conversation very quickly. That’s not what Ryan Murphy has built an entire career on. He likes being close to the pulse of certainly this country, and in many of his shows, a global conversation. And it’s a conversation that goes out over time and keeps an audience captivated and talking on social media until its completion.”
She said that her company’s model for content distribution allows for more sustained “watercooler buzz” than Netflix shows can build.
“My only point about Shonda is, she’s now again richly rewarded, as she should be, but at a place where all of her shows will be at Netflix,” Walden continued.
“If she comes up with a show that could explode on FX or on Fox, that’s not a possibility for her anymore — she’s locked into one mode of distribution. I can point to a lot of our creators who want to be more prolific than that and want to be more a part of the conversation.”