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Netflix might pay Eddie Murphy $70 million for stand-up specials

But will the A-lister prove a big enough draw for viewers?
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Eddie Murphy might be better known these days for his work on the screen, but it was on the stage that he got his start. His stand-up specials Delirious and Raw are often ranked among the best ever, and Murphy has been open in recent years about wanting a return to live performance. Netflix might help him make the leap, as it's reportedly in talks with him for several stand-up specials.

According to TMZ, Netflix may be willing to pay $70 million for an undisclosed number of specials. While that's a huge figure, especially given reports about Netflix trying to be more conscientious about the original content it spends big on, that's in line with what it paid other A-list comics. Dave Chappelle is said to have earned $60 million for a trio of specials, which Chris Rock apparently scored a $40 million deal for two of his own. Ellen DeGeneres, meanwhile, reportedly earned $20 million for her special.

Netflix has long been investing in original comedy, but it might be under a little more pressure to find hits and big names that will really move the needle. In its latest earnings report, Netflix said it had a net loss of US subscribers for the first time in years. Its user numbers still increased year-over-year, but it missed a key target. Subscribers grew by 2.7 million, though Netflix predicted around 5 million would join over the quarter.

Netflix is looking for ways to attract new subscribers and keep its existing ones without some popular third-party shows such as The Office and Friends, both of which will be departing for other streaming platforms in the not-too-distant future. It remains to be seen whether Eddie Murphy's apparent return to stand-up will be a big enough hook for viewers.

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