Get ready to see a lot more of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s perfect smile. He just inked a 5-year deal worth an estimated $200 million with NBCUniversal, the new content banner than encompasses Universal Television, Universal Comcast Productions, and NBCUniversal International Studios.
What does this mean in the short-term? All three of MacFarlane’s active series, Family Guy, American Dad, and The Orville run on Fox and Hulu, now Disney properties. Apparently, both Mouse and Peacock are going to play nice for the time being and take what they can get from their brilliant content creator. That means we don’t have to worry that Peter Griffin’s next words will sounds a hell of a lot like super spy Sterling Archer.
Outside of the immediate ramifications for the two long-running animated programs and The Orville, the move is one of many recent strategic land grabs to snatch up major talent with major money before other developers can get their greedy hands on it. Content builders like Netflix, Amazon, Disney, NBC, AT&T (WarnerMedia and HBO), and CBS are racing to secure the best and brightest creative minds and producers in the field.
Topping that list of certified fresh producers is Ryan Murphy creator of Glee and American Horror Story who jumped ship a long stint at FX (where he also ran Nip/Tuck) to the tune of $300M over five years for Netflix in their first big coup. But all the powers that be are engaged in this war for talent within the content wars. Disney even went and locked down some real life royal voice talent to bolster their stable.
Everyone is vying to find the formula to make their content library the most desirable. Everyone wants success. Initially, this meant big bucks for IP. Reliable franchises and beloved characters are the lead to modern day alchemy. Much like sleep deprivation is the key to writing with more mixed metaphors than one can count. Now, these content giants have fixed their eyes and wallets upon the minds behind successful IP, for if these minds can do it once, surely they can do it again.