Over the last decade, Ryan Murphy has become the king of the anthology series. Thanks to his writing and producing roles on American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud, and more, the showrunner is credited with revitalizing and popularizing the structure of a television series in which individual seasons or episodes stand completely on their own. And now, Murphy is planning to use his signature storytelling structure to adapt his most modern and pressing series yet. Ryan Murphy's new series Consent is all about the #MeToo movement, and will translate the recent stories we have all been hearing about sexual abuse in Hollywood to the television screen.
The news about Ryan Murphy's ripped-from-the-headlines #MeToo series comes from a new profile of the showrunner by the New Yorker. In the interview, Murphy revealed that he is in the early stages of developing another new anthology series, which would chronicle a different famous sexual assault or harassment case from the past few years in each episode. Dubbing the show Consent, Murphy mused that its criminal content and episodic structure could also make it work as a potential season of American Crime Story. Murphy described the series by comparing it to the episode-by-episode structure of Black Mirror, revealing that he would want the pilot to focus on the bombshell revelations about Harvey Weinstein that were credited with sparking the #MeToo movement, and then a following episode would be devoted to Kevin Spacey.
Ryan Murphy said that the recent #MeToo revelations did not come as a huge shock to anyone who works in Hollywood, or knew their history of the movie business and its "casting couch" culture. He said that Hollywood attracts broken people, which is what helps create the industry's toxic environment:
It’s sad, but it’s also Hollywood. Nobody comes here because they’re healthy. Nobody, nobody I know, was parented well who is a successful Hollywood person. Or who’s willing to endure that. You’re just trying to fill up some huge hole.
From the way that Ryan Murphy talks about the series, it sounds like Consent is still only an idea, and it may take a while for the in-demand showrunner to actually get the ball moving on the show. After all, Murphy is currently producing seven —count 'em, seven! — different TV shows. He is hard at work on upcoming seasons of American Horror Story, American Crime Story, and Feud, as well as his police procedural 9-1-1. And he has three new series lined up to premiere later this year: the '80s ball culture drama Pose, the One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest spinoff series Ratched, and the politics-spoofing musical comedy The Politician. Yeah... that does not sound like it leaves Murphy with much time for an eighth series.
But then again, Ryan Murphy has proven more than adept at keeping an unthinkable amount of shows going at once, and the fact that Consent would tackle the most current topic that he has ever undertaken could mean that Murphy will prioritize the series idea above his others to try to get it going faster.
Ryan Murphy would clearly have a ton of material to work with when developing episode ideas for Consent. Since reports of Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct dominated the news in October of 2017, scores of abuse victims began coming forward with stories famous men who misused their positions of power for years. Along with the episodes focused on the cases of Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, Consent would likely continue to adapt some of the most high-profile #MeToo revelations into episodes.
If Ryan Murphy does develop Consent into a series, it would air on Netflix. Earlier this year, Murphy signed a massive overall deal with the streaming service, which officially transported him from his longtime home at Fox.