Ryan Murphy Scores TV-Film No. 1 On Netflix With ‘Dahmer’ & ‘Mr. Harrigan’s Phone’ – Deadline

By Nellie Andreeva
Co-Editor-in-Chief, TV
Ryan Murphy’s true crime limited series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has been a massive hit for Netflix, a dominant No. 1 series globally since its Sept. 21 release and on track to become the streamer’s second most popular English-language show only behind Season 4 of Stranger Things. Released Wednesday, Oct. 5, horror film Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, which Murphy produced, also quickly shot up to the top spot, giving the prolific writer-producer-director the No. 1 Film and No. 1 TV Series in the U.S. on Friday. It is believed to be the first time a producer has held the two top spots simultaneously.

Netflix only provides global tallies weekly but confirmed that both Murphy titles were No. 1 on the respective film and series lists in 60 countries Friday, making them global No. 1s for the day. We will have to wait until Tuesday to see whether Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, directed and written by John Lee Hancock based on Stephen King’s novella, will be No. 1 for the week (Dahmer is assured of another No. 1 finish) to give Murphy the top weekly sports worldwide. Another top Netflix-based producer, Shawn Levy, has held both pole positions though not at the same time; film The Adam Project was No. 1 globally on the weekly Top 10 list in March of this year, followed by Stranger Things 4, whose reign at No. 1 started in late May.

'Dahmer' Becomes Netflix's Second Biggest Series Ever

For Murphy, the blockbuster success of Dahmer, which he co-created with Ian Brennan, comes in the third year of his massive overall deal with Netflix, which is also when Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix series, mega hit Bridgerton, came out. It was followed by similarly popular true crime limited series Inventing Anna.
Murphy, who did two limited series, Hollywood and Halston and two movies, The Prom and The Boys in the Band, early into his Netflix deal (Ratched and The Politician were pre-existing and not pact of that pact), also has a second series behind the serial killer drama Dahmer, horror-themed limited series The Watcher. He has become increasingly secretive about his development but, for the past year and a half, executives at the streamer have been speaking highly of what he has been working on. And when speculation started swirling over the summer that Murphy could move to Disney to reunite with Dana Walden following her big promotion, Netflix executives remained confident that Murphy would have a strong fall with his two new series that were described as being very on brand for the hit maker.

Dahmer‘s followup, The Watcher, inspired by true events, premieres Oct. 13.
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