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News / Life / Entertainment

Murphy more than ‘Glee,’ ‘American Horror Story’

By Peter Sblendorio, New York Daily News
Published: January 15, 2023, 6:02am

Ryan Murphy is known for churning out TV titans, but the writer-director-producer’s list of credits is even lengthier than many realize.

The mastermind behind hit shows “Glee,” “American Horror Story” and “Pose” got his start more than two decades ago with a teen series about socially opposite stepsisters and found similar success with a procedural drama about first responders.

Murphy, 57, was honored at Tuesday’s Golden Globes with the fourth-ever Carol Burnett Award, which recognizes an artist’s contributions to the TV industry. Previous recipients include Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres and Norman Lear.

Check out some more projects you might not know Murphy had a hand in creating.

  • “Popular”

Revered as a cult classic, the high-school-set “Popular” catapulted Murphy into Hollywood relevance as the show’s co-creator, director, writer and executive producer.

The series aired for two seasons from 1999 to 2001 and centers on a popular cheerleader and an unpopular student journalist who must navigate their differences once their parents get married.

Led by stars Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope, the WB series received multiple honors during its original run, including a Teen Choice Award for breakout show.

  • “The Normal Heart”

Murphy regularly uses his platform to address real-world social topics. “Pose” most prominently depicts the AIDS epidemic, but Murphy also explores the issue with this made-for-TV movie about the founder of an HIV advocacy group in 1980s New York.

Directed by Murphy, “The Normal Heart” isn’t short on star power, with Mark Ruffalo leading a cast featuring Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina and Julia Roberts.

The HBO film won numerous accolades, including a 2014 Emmy for outstanding television movie, and Murphy received the inspiration award from the Foundation for AIDS Research the following year.

  • “9-1-1”

The Los Angeles-set series about cops, firefighters and paramedics may seem like a departure from Murphy’s more lighthearted fare, but the show enjoys similar success to some of his heavyweight titles.

Created, written, directed and produced by Murphy, the Fox show is in its sixth season and has seen star Angela Bassett repeatedly take home honors, including multiple NAACP Awards and a Critics Choice Award.

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The show also spawned a successful spinoff, “9-1-1: Lone Star,” set in Austin, Texas, with a fourth season premiering Jan. 24.

  • “Ratched”

Frequent Murphy collaborator Sarah Paulson proved to be exactly what the doctor ordered with her portrayal of Nurse Ratched in this “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” prequel series.

Set 16 years before the classic original film, “Ratched” offers a dark backstory for the title villain, with the series centering on her posturing at a mysterious psychiatric hospital.

The eight-episode first season premiered on Netflix in 2020, with Paulson receiving Golden Globes and Hollywood Critics Association nominations.

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