Fleabag creator, writer, and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge has signed an exclusive overall deal with Amazon Prime Video, Deadline reports. The deal is reportedly for three years and valued in the “mid-eight-figure range,” Deadline is reporting, indicating tens of millions of dollars.
The announcement comes just after an incredibly successful Emmys weekend for Waller-Bridge. Fleabag won three of the night’s most coveted awards in the comedy categories, including Best Comedy, Best Actress in a Comedy Series, and Best Writing for a Comedy Series. Waller-Bridge’s other series, Killing Eve, which airs on BBC America, also picked up a few awards. The overall deal between Amazon and Waller-Bridge was in “its final stages by this past weekend,” according to Deadline.
Waller-Bridge is one of the most sought-after creators right now, and Amazon’s exclusivity deal is just another example of the growing arms race for high-profile writers and creators as the streaming wars heat up. Netflix reportedly paid Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story) $300 million, Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy) $150 million, and Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss $250 million for exclusive overall contracts.
That race isn’t limited to Netflix and Amazon. WarnerMedia reportedly paid $250 million for a first-look overall deal with J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot, ahead of its pending HBO Max launch. Abrams also reportedly walked away from a $500 million totally exclusive deal with Apple for its new streaming service, Apple TV Plus, and signed with WarnerMedia because his contract gives him the ability to work with other networks and studios.
The next year will be dominated by companies trying to get people to sign up for their streaming services. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Apple’s TV Plus, Disney’s Disney+, and even short-form video platform Quibi are all launching services, and are eager to lock down exclusive content that can garner both attention and awards.
For Amazon, betting on Fleabag early — and giving Waller-Bridge the creative freedom to realize it — seems to have paid off. Reached for comment by Variety, the Fleabag creator said that working on the show was a “creative partnership dreams are made of.”
“It really feels like home,” Waller-Bridge said. “I can’t wait to get going!”