Ryan Murphy (writer)

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Ryan Murphy
Ryan Murphy by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Murphy at the SDCC in July 2010.
Born (1965-11-30) November 30, 1965 (age 48)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Occupation Screenwriter, director, producer
Nationality American
Alma mater IU Bloomington
Spouse David Miller (m. 2012)
Children 2

Ryan Murphy (born November 30, 1965)[1] is an American film and television screenwriter, director, and producer. Murphy is best known for creating/co-creating a number of television series including Popular, Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, and The New Normal.

Background[edit]

Murphy grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, in an Irish Catholic family.[2][3] He attended Catholic school from first through eighth grade,[2] and graduated from Warren Central High School (Indianapolis). He has described his mother as a "beauty queen who left it all to stay at home and take care of her two sons." She wrote five books and worked in communications for over 20 years before retiring. His father worked in the newspaper industry as a circulation director before he retired after 30 years.[4]

After coming out as gay, Murphy saw his first therapist, who found nothing wrong with him other than being "too precocious for his own good."[2][4] Murphy performed with a choir as a child, which would later inform his work on Glee.[2] Murphy attended Indiana University, Bloomington. While at college, he was a staff member of the school newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student, and he was a member of the school's Singing Hoosiers show choir.

Career[edit]

Murphy started as a journalist working for The Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Knoxville News Sentinel and Entertainment Weekly. He began scriptwriting in the late 1990s, when Steven Spielberg purchased his script Why Can't I Be Audrey Hepburn?.[4]

Television[edit]

Murphy started his career in television in 1999 with the teen comedy series Popular. The show aired on The WB for two seasons.[5]

Murphy is the Golden Globe-winning creator of Nip/Tuck, which aired on FX and was both a commercial and critical hit. He produced, wrote, and directed many episodes; in 2004, Murphy earned his first ever Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.[4] Murphy took the show's signature line, "Tell me what you don't like about yourself" from a plastic surgeon he met when he was a journalist researching an undercover story on plastic surgery in Beverly Hills.

Murphy has also created a couple of failed pilots. The WB sitcom pilot St. Sass starring Delta Burke and Heather Matarazzo was not picked up. In 2008, Murphy wrote and directed the FX pilot Pretty/Handsome, which also was not picked up.[6]

One of Murphy's current projects is the Fox musical comedy-drama Glee, co-created with Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan. Fox aired a preview episode on May 19, 2009, following the season finale of American Idol; the show aired its first regular season episode on September 9, 2009. The show's early success in its planned thirteen-episode run led the network to order an additional nine episodes for the spring, making it the first new fall series in 2009 to get a full season order of twenty-two episodes. It was announced during the last half of the first season that Fox had ordered a complete second and third season of Glee due to high ratings and positive feedback about the show and its characters.[7] He won his first Emmy for directing the pilot episode of Glee, while the show received a record 19 nominations including Outstanding Comedy Series, although it lost the latter to Modern Family while winning in four categories.[8] The show was nominated for 12 Emmys for its second season,[8] and will conclude following its sixth season.[9]

Another project of Murphy's with Falchuk, American Horror Story, premiered on FX on October 5, 2011, and was nominated for 17 Emmys in its debut season. The series ended its third season on January 29, 2014, and featured some of the same cast as the first and second, but playing different characters and in a different setting.[10][11] The series has now entered its fourth season.

Murphy was one of four executive producers on the reality television series The Glee Project, which premiered on Oxygen on June 12, 2011.[12] The show features a group of contestants vying for the prize of a seven-episode arc on Glee, with one being eliminated each week until the winner is chosen from those remaining on the final episode. The show was renewed for a second season, which ended up being its last.[13]

Murphy and Glee co-executive producer Ali Adler created The New Normal, a half-hour comedy that "centers on a gay couple and the surrogate who will carry their child," and is set to air on NBC beginning in the fall of 2012. According to Entertainment Weekly, there was a bidding war in October 2011 between ABC, NBC, and Fox for the project.[14] The announcement that NBC had officially ordered a pilot episode for the series was made on January 27, 2012,[15] and a series order followed on May 7, 2012. The series was canceled after one season.[16] The series is based on Murphy's own experiences having a child via surrogate, with the main characters, Bryan and David, named for Ryan and his husband.[17]

In April 2013, it was announced that HBO has given a pilot order for Murphy's new sexuality drama Open, which began filming in late 2013.[18]

Series Original run Description
Popular 1999–2001 (The WB) Brooke McQueen (Leslie Bibb) and Samantha McPherson (Carly Pope), students at Jacqueline Kennedy High School, are polar opposites. Brooke is a popular cheerleader and Sam is an unpopular journalist. Their respective groups are forced to socialize when Brooke's father and Sam's mother get engaged and the two girls have to share a house. The series concluded after its second season without a proper finale.
Nip/Tuck 2003–2010 (FX) Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) and Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) are best friends and two prestigious plastic surgeons working in the luxurious and glamorous Miami. The work, envy, personal problems, and love intersect in their relationship making dramatic storylines. Each episode features a different operation and are titled with the name of the operated person. The series ran for 100 episodes, concluding with the series finale on March 3, 2010 after six seasons.
Glee 2009–present (Fox) The series follows the William McKinley High School's glee club named New Directions located in Lima, Ohio; most of the members are on the fringes of the school's society, though a few are popular jocks and cheerleaders. The glee club is directed by teacher Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), who falls in love with guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays). The club's lead singer, Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), starts as an egocentric sophomore who aspires to be a Broadway star, and the show follows her through show choir championships to Broadway. The series has been renewed through its sixth season in 2015, when it is expected to end.
American Horror Story 2011–present (FX) Murder House: The Harmon family moves from Boston to Los Angeles after Vivien (Connie Britton), the mother, has a miscarriage and Ben (Dylan McDermott), the father, has an affair with Hayden (Kate Mara), one of his students. The family moves to a restored mansion, unaware that the house is haunted by ghosts of residents who died there.

Asylum: Kit Walker (Evan Peters) is sent to Briarcliff, a place that was bought by the Catholic Church and became an asylum for the criminally insane. He is accused of being the notorious serial killer, Bloody Face, after his wife Alma Walker (Britne Oldford) is found dead and missing her skin. Inside the asylum, he encounters the terrifying Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell) and Sister Jude (Jessica Lange).

Coven: Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) discovers in a horrific way that she is a witch. She is whisked away to a mysterious school in New Orleans, devoted to safeguarding her kind. There, she meets Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), the long-absent Supreme who has a hidden agenda for the students. Zoe also meets Cordelia (Sarah Paulson), Fiona's daughter and teacher at the school.

Freak Show: Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange), a German woman in Jupiter, Florida, tries to revamp the public's interest in freak shows in the 1950s with a new group of freaks and oddities, but there are obstacles and opposition ahead.

The New Normal 2012–2013 (NBC) David Bartholomew Sawyer (Justin Bartha), an obstetrician, and Bryan Collins (Andrew Rannells), a television producer, are a happy gay couple in California who have everything they want, except a baby. They find Goldie (Georgia King), a mother who has left a failed marriage in Ohio, who agrees to become Bryan and David's gestational surrogate. Over the course of the pregnancy, their families become intertwined. Goldie gives birth and David and Bryan formally marry in the season one finale. The show was not renewed for a second season.

Films[edit]

In 2006, Murphy wrote the screenplay for and directed the feature film Running with Scissors. Based on the memoir by Augusten Burroughs, the movie version starred Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin and Brian Cox and, as the young Burroughs, Joseph Cross. In 2010, Murphy directed Julia Roberts in an adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir Eat, Pray, Love. The film was a box office success but a critical failure, receiving harsh reviews criticizing its pacing and lack of credibility. To date, the film has grossed $204,482,125 worldwide.[19]

On January 20, 2012, it was announced that the next film Murphy would be directing is a screen adaptation by Larry Kramer of his Broadway play The Normal Heart, starring Mark Ruffalo, Roberts, Baldwin, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons.[20]

As of 2011, Murphy has several films in development: Dirty Tricks, a political comedy; Face, a plastic surgery thriller; and Need, an erotic thriller. In 2014, Murphy was developing a feature film of the life of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark, based on the No. 1 bestselling book Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune.[21] Ryan is also going to collaborate with The Normal Heart executive producer Jason Blum to produce alongside Blum a remake of the cult-classic horror film The Town That Dreaded Sundown.[22] The film is going to be the directorial debut of Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who has directed episodes of Glee and American Horror Story. The film is set to be released in 2014.

Personal life[edit]

(l-r) Governor appointee Don Norte, Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy, and Norte's husband, gay activist Kevin Norte, at Spring Time G.L.A.A.D. 2010's Charitable Event in Century City, Los Angeles, California.

Murphy grew up in a Catholic household and continues to go to church.[2][23] He serves on the National Advisory Board of the Young Storytellers Foundation. He once owned a house designed by renowned mid-century modern architect Carl Maston.[24]

Murphy is married to David Miller, a photographer.[25] On December 24, 2012, Murphy and Miller welcomed their first child, a son named Logan Phineas, via surrogate. In October 2014, they welcomed a second child into their family, called Ford.[26] He was previously in a long-term relationship with director Bill Condon.

Controversy[edit]

Ryan Murphy has had some public arguments with famous bands and their members, including Slash from Guns N' Roses, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, and Kings of Leon lead singer, Caleb Followill, and drummer, Nathan Followill.[27] These arguments have stemmed from the musicians declining Murphy when asked to have their music covered on Glee.

The New Normal has been criticised for perpetuating racial stereotypes and using a person born intersex as an object of derision.[28][29]

Recurring collaborators[edit]

This chart lists every actor who has appeared in more than one film or show directed or written by Murphy. Matt Bomer and Leslie Grossman are Murphy's most prolific collaborators, having appeared in four of his films or TV series.

Actor Popular Nip/Tuck Running with Scissors Glee Pretty/Handsome Eat Pray Love American Horror Story The New Normal The Normal Heart
Alec Baldwin NoN NoN
Bob Bancroft NoN NoN
Robin Bartlett NoN NoN
Willam Belli NoN NoN
Leslie Bibb NoN NoN
Matt Bomer NoN NoN NoN NoN
Barry Bostwick NoN NoN NoN
Dean Cameron NoN NoN
Nancy Cassaro NoN NoN
Kristin Chenoweth NoN NoN
Susan Chuang NoN NoN
Frances Conroy NoN NoN
Mark Consuelos NoN NoN
Tanya Clarke NoN NoN
Jill Clayburgh NoN NoN
Parker Croft NoN NoN
Lisa Darr NoN NoN
Adria Dawn NoN NoN
Clea DuVall NoN NoN
Brando Eaton NoN NoN
Christine Estabrook NoN NoN
Joseph Fiennes NoN NoN NoN
Jessalyn Gilsig NoN NoN
Eve Gordon NoN NoN
Jonathan Groff NoN NoN NoN
Nolan Gross NoN NoN
Leslie Grossman NoN NoN NoN NoN
Randee Heller NoN NoN
Preston James Hillier NoN NoN
Tara Holt NoN NoN
Valorie Hubbard NoN NoN
Dot-Marie Jones NoN NoN NoN
Bryce Johnson NoN NoN NoN
Sade Kimora Young NoN NoN
Teddy Lane, Jr. NoN NoN NoN
NeNe Leakes NoN NoN
Deirdre Lovejoy NoN NoN
Patti LuPone NoN NoN
Kate Mara NoN NoN
Joel McKinnon Miller NoN NoN NoN
Rebecca Metz NoN NoN
Sandy Martin NoN NoN
Denis O'Hare NoN NoN
Mike O'Malley NoN NoN NoN
Gwyneth Paltrow NoN NoN NoN
Adina Porter NoN NoN
Lily Rabe NoN NoN
Geoffrey Rivas NoN NoN
Sarah Paulson NoN NoN NoN
Julia Roberts NoN NoN
John Stamos NoN NoN
Eric Stonestreet NoN NoN
Barbara Tarbuck NoN NoN NoN
Alessandra Torresani NoN NoN
Aisha Tyler NoN NoN
Andy Umberger NoN NoN
Finn Wittrock NoN NoN

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ryan Murphy Biography". All Movie Guide via The New York Times. Retrieved August 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e From Nip/Tuck to High School Glee, Fresh Air (NPR), May 19, 2009, retrieved November 25, 2009 
  3. ^ Martin, Denise (April 26, 2009). "'Glee' team rewrites the school musical". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d Roberts, Sheila, Ryan Murphy, Director of Running with Scissors Interview, Moviesonline.com, retrieved November 25, 2009 
  5. ^ Bialis, Michael, Ryan Murphy Makes His Lighthearted Plea With Glee, blogcritics.org, retrieved October 28, 2010 
  6. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 17, 2011). "FX Orders Pilot From Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk, Duo Remains Committed To 'Glee'". Deadline.com. Mail.com Media. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ Seidman, Robert (September 21, 2009), FOX sings praises of Glee with full-season pickup, TVbytheNumbers.com, retrieved November 26, 2009 
  8. ^ a b "Glee". Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ Brown, Laurel (April 19, 2013). "'Glee' renewed for two seasons: FOX orders Season 5 and Season 6 early". Zap2it. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ Frankel, Daniel. "'American Horror Story' gets season 2 order from FX". Reuters. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Mullins, Jenna (December 22, 2011). "American Horror Story Season Two Scoop: New House and (Mostly) New Faces". E! Online. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Emmy® Award Winners Ryan Murphy and Dante Di Loreto Sign On To Executive Produce Oxygen’s "The Glee Project"". Facebook.com. Retrieved January 23, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Oxygen Picks Up Second Season of Critically Acclaimed "The Glee Project," Returning Summer 2012". The Futon Critic. Oxygen. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2012. 
  14. ^ Snierson, Dan (October 13, 2011). "NBC buys Ryan Murphy comedy pilot". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  15. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 27, 2012). "Ryan Murphy's NBC Comedy Lands Pilot Order". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  16. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 7, 2012). "NBC Gives Series Orders to Ryan Murphy Comedy, J.J. Abrams Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  17. ^ "The New Normal - Andrew Rannells". NBC.com. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Ryan Murphy’s Provocative Relationship Drama ‘Open’ Lands At HBO With Pilot Order". Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  19. ^ Box office Mojo, retrieved February 26, 2011 
  20. ^ Kit, Borys (January 20, 2012). "Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons to Star in Ryan Murphy's Next Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Ryan Murphy Options Movie Rights To Bestseller ‘Empty Mansions’ - Deadline". Deadline. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  22. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 17, 2013). "Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum Teaming Up for MGM's Remake of 'The Town That Dreaded Sundown'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  23. ^ Poniewozik, James (March 7, 2005), Queer Eye for Straight TV, Time, retrieved August 20, 2008 
  24. ^ "Carl Maston". La.curbed.com. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  25. ^ Van Meter, Jonathan (September 18, 2012), Ryan Murphy's Hope: Is American Ready for The New Normal?, Vogue, retrieved September 18, 2012 
  26. ^ "Ryan Murphy Second Child: Glee Creator Welcomes Baby Via Surrogate With Husband David Miller". usmagazine.com. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  27. ^ "'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy to Kings of Leon: 'F-- You'". EW.com. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  28. ^ 'The New Normal' Review: Ryan Murphy Up To His Old Tricks, Maureen Ryan in The Huffington Post, September 10, 2012
  29. ^ Because Racism Is So Last Year, The New Normal Is Making Fun of Intersex People Now, Nico Lang in The Huffington Post, October 17, 2013

External links[edit]