After 16 years at NBC – 5 on ER and 11 on Law & Order: SVU – Neal Baer is heading to CBS. In a competitive situation, Baer has signed a three-year overall deal with CBS Television Studios. The pact, said to be in the high-seven figures, includes development as well as showrunner services. It starts on June 2, a day after Baer’s contract on SVU expires. Baer has been the executive producer/showrunner on SVU since the series’ second season. With him departing and the deals of stars Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni up at the end of this season, the future of the veteran NBC crime drama is in limbo. I hear that NBC pursued Baer to stay and ABC, where Baer worked on China Beach before joining ER, also made a play for him, but he ultimately found CBS to be best suited for him. CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler, who worked with him while he was on ER and she was an executive at the studio that produced the hit medical drama, Warner Bros. TV, had been looking to bring him over to CBS for more than a decade. With his medical drama and crime procedural background, the Paradigm-repped Baer, a trained pediatrician, is a great fit for CBS, which has built its schedule on crime procedurals and is trying to launch a successful medical drama franchise.
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