What Netflix’s $300 million Ryan Murphy deal says about the future of TV

When Ryan Murphy began working with 21st Century Fox Inc. in 2003 on the medical drama “Nip/Tuck” on FX and later “Glee” on the company’s namesake network, Netflix Inc. was six years into disrupting the DVD rental business and had just posted its first profit.

Fox FOXA, +1.35% was in its second season of airing “American Idol,” the No. 2 and 3 show that year — “American Idol” aired on two different nights — according to Nielsen data.

But power is shifting to streaming services, which have direct lines to the viewers that networks and show creators like Murphy are trying to reach.

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