EXCLUSIVE: Laurence Fishburne, who headlined CBS’ CSI for two-and-a-half seasons, is returning to TV series, this time as a producer. Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Prods. has signed a two-year first-look development deal with Fox Television Studios for cable projects. Former Paramount Television SVP current programming Tom Russo has been tapped as Head of Television for Cinema Gypsy Prods. He will shepherd the development of cable series under the deal with FtvS and will serve a producer on Cinema Gypsy’s projects. Fishburne and his longtime manager/production partner Helen Sugland will executive produce. “I’m looking forward to expanding our production efforts in television and partnering with Fox Television Studios,” Fishburne said. FtvS president David Madden was far more effusive in his comments about the deal with the Matrix actor. “Laurence Fishburne has won the Tony Award, the Emmy Award, and is an Academy Award nominee, as well as being universally recognized as one of the finest actors working today,” Madden said. “He did sterling work on CSI, and we know he has still much more to offer to the TV series world. We are proud to be in business with Laurence and look forward to bringing more blazing Fishburne-esque performances to the screen. And for God’s sake, he’s Morpheus!” Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Prods. first got into TV development 3 years ago when the company signed a first-look deal with CBS TV Studios, which produces CSI. The company recently co-produced the HBO movie Thurgood starring Fishburne, which earned him an Emmy nomination. On the acting side, Paradigm-repped Fishburne most recently co-starred in Contagion and will next be seen in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie Have A Little Faith and Man Of Steel. FtvS’s portfolio of cable series includes USA’s Burn Notice and White Collar, AMC’s The Killing and A&E’s The Glades.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.