Sons Of Anarchy creator and showrunner Kurt Sutter is staying in the 20th Century Fox TV fold with a new three-year overall deal. Sutter is now working on the seventh and final season of his gritty FX drama Sons Of Anarchy, produced by 20th TV’s cable division Fox 21 and FX Prods., and will next segue to his new project for FX and Fox 21, pilot The Bastard Executioner, which is co-produced by Imagine TV. The pilot, set in 14th century England, is slated to shoot in London in early 2015, with the potential series eying a fall 2015 launch. Additionally, Sutter is having conversations about an SOA prequel, he told the Comic-Con crowd yesterday. “My sense is right now that I don’t know if it will be a full-on series or a miniseries,” he said.
Under the new deal, Sutter would work on those projects and develop new ones, with FX having first look on his development. His previous pact — Sutter’s first overall agreement ever — was a joint one between 20th TV and FX Prods. and included a script commitment at FX where the writer-producer has set up multiple projects over the past couple of years, including a comedy starring his wife, SOA leading lady Katey Sagal. “Kurt is that rare producer who is a triple threat — he writes, he showruns and he directs. There is nothing he can’t do,” said Fox Television Group … Read More »
Similar to 20th Century Fox TV‘s Bones Comic-Con presentation, the Family Guy creators and cast also revealed a number of storylines for its upcoming season. In no particular order, Meg (Mila Kunis) becomes a foot-fetish model, Stewie is impregnated with Brian’s baby, Jesus returns in the Christmas episode and “the guys help him get laid,” said executive producer Steve Callaghan. And as discussed at TCA, there’s the episode where Peter tries to kick Liam Neeson’s ass. Other guests stars in addition to Neeson this season include Allison Janney, Julie Bowen, Lea Thompson and Jeff Garlin.
Related: Fox Announces Fall Premiere Dates
The toon’s director and producer Peter Shin confirmed that there’s a looming feature film of Family Guy, but it’s currently on hold while creator Seth MacFarlane directs Ted 2. Said Shin, ”We started some work on one a while ago, but it’s been put on hold. It might move forward in the future.” Callaghan mentioned that the upcoming September 28 The Simpsons Guy is much in the vein of a film. MacFarlane would also like to do a Star Trek parody much in the same way Family Guy did a send-up of Star Wars: A New Hope with its sixth season premiere Blue Harvest. Airdate TBD.
Related: Starz Gives 2-Season Order To Seth MacFarlane-Jonathan Ames Comedy
A nice button during the Q&A included Simpsons creator Matt Groening taking the mike and asking, ‘Hey guys, what advice can you give a young, struggling animator? Please if you … Read More »
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of the Season 9 finale of Bones.
The Comic-Con panel for 20th Century Fox TV’s Bones was chock-full of spoilers for Season 10 (watch the trailer below), but a balance of optimism and vagueness pervaded when it came to how long this series will be on the air. As Fox Networks Group Chairman/CEO Peter Rice mentioned at TCA, Fox would love more seasons of Bones, but it boils down to renewing the contracts of leads Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, which are up at the end of the season. “To go 10 seasons like this was inconceivable, and I know these guys feel the same,” said executive producer Stephen Nathan. “They are so inspirational and kept these characters alive. … Hopefully you’ll see us going to 20 seasons.”
Related: ‘Bones’ Renewed For Season 10, Will Return To Mondays In March
Boreanaz responded to Nathan’s optimism by closing his eyes, a sign that 20 is just way too long.
“I like to work in the present on what we’re working on now,” Boreanaz said about his future with the show. “It’s always a moment-for-moment thing for me. Whether it’s Episode 500 or Episode 1,000, it’s just about the moment at hand.” Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Having just revived NBC’s Community, Yahoo might be looking to do the same with another recently cancelled cult broadcast comedy series, Fox‘s Enlisted. I hear talks are under way between the online giant and Enlisted producer 20th Century Fox TV for a second season of the military series, created by Kevin Biegel, on Yahoo’s streaming service Yahoo Screen. Sources cautioned that the conversations are preliminary and it’s unclear whether they would result in a deal.
Much like Community, Enlisted has a passionate and loyal following, something that is attractive to digital platforms which crave core groups of passionate fans. Interestingly, following the news of Yahoo’s deal for another season of Community, Enlisted fans targeted Yahoo Screen with a major save-our-show campaign, pitching the service a Community/Enlisted double feature.
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In a conference call with reporters following the announcement of Fox Television Group, a unit combining Fox and 20th Century Fox TV that will be run by the studio’s Dana Walden and Gary Newman, the duo stressed that each company will continue to operate independently going forward, with each having its own P&L and management team. However, there will be synergies. “They will have shared creative and financial goals: to create more hits and, with the benefit of more collaboration and a more streamlined approach to development, create more hits together,” Newman said. “We’re a mature industry-leading studio that will continue to produce for multiple networks with a greater focus now on providing FBC with the best possible shows.”
Upon starting their new expanded duties on July 28, Walden and Newman plan “to be involved both companies,” Newman said. There are no plans for bring in a president of entertainment at Fox or make executive changes for the time being. The network’s top programming executive is COO Joe Earley, who was given development oversight a few months ago. “He has been doing a fantastic job, and there is a terrific executive team at Fox,” Walden said. “There are no immediate plans to bring anyone new.” Still, the two will take some time “to immerse ourselves in the culture at Fox and make recommendations,” Walden said, vowing a hands-on involvement, including hearing pitches. Over at the studio, Walden noted the recent promotions of Jonathan Davis to President of Creative Affairs and Howard Kurtzman to President, Business Operation, indicating that the two would be asked to step up to cover more ground as their bosses expand responsibilities. Read More »
As they have added oversight of Fox in addition to running 20th Century Fox TV, Dana Walden and Gary Newman wasted no time in making it clear that there will be no direct pipeline from the studio to the sister network, which will remain an independent buyer evaluating projects on their merits, not the source. “Be assured the network will remain committed to developing the boldest ideas, no matter the sources,” they wrote in an internal memo announcing the appointment this morning. “We want the best shows on FBC, period. A thriving FBC will mean a more fertile ground to nurture the passion projects of all creators.” Similarly, the duo stressed that 20th TV-based creators will not be forced to sell to Fox but their projects will continue to be placed where they have the best chance to succeed. Read the full memo here: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Cuba Gooding Jr has closed a deal with 20th Century Fox TV to develop a single-camera half-hour comedy set in an old-school boxing gym. Gooding will co-create and executive produce the project with Jason Winer‘s Small Dog Picture Company. The Oscar-winning actor is not attached to star at this point, we’re told, and there’s no writer yet. Gooding and Small Dog are meeting with potential showrunners before taking the project — which is not being called a sitcom — out to networks.
Based on Gooding’s love of boxing, the series is set in a gym in a newly gentrified neighborhood where hard-core boxers, weekend warriors and soccer moms gather to practice. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After four years at Universal TV, Alexandra Cunningham is moving to 20th Century Fox TV with a one-year development deal. Cunningham got her start as a writer on ABC’s NYPD Blue and made her mark on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, which she joined after the pilot, rising through the ranks to executive producer and one of the dramedy’s key writers. At Universal TV, she wrote and executive produced NBC’s well-received adaptation of the British series Prime Suspect. She most recently served as a consulting producer on the studio’s A&E drama Bates Motel and is currently an executive producer on NBC’s upcoming drama Aquarius, from ITV Studios and Marty Adelstein, which stars David Duchovny. On the development side, she wrote two projects for NBC this past season, a Murder, She Wrote reboot, which had Octavia Spencer attached to star, and Gone For Good, based on Harlan Coben’s best-selling thriller. “We have been pursuing Alex for years,” said Dana Walden, CEO and chairman of 20th TV. Read More »
Condé Nast Entertainment has signed a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox Television for scripted series, to be developed and produced by 20th TV on the broadcast side and by its division Fox 21 in cable. This marks the first such studio arrangement for CNÉ, which made an entrance into scripted development last season with a couple of projects based on properties from its library, a drama take on Street & Smith pulp series The Avenger at The CW with Neal Baer and a crime drama at CBS based on a Glamour article with Eva Longoria producing. The partnership reunites veteran TV executives, 20th TV Chairman and CEO Dana Walden and CNÉ President Dawn Ostroff who have known each other for two decades. “Dawn’s one of the most talented executives I’ve ever worked with and is also a close friend,” Walden said. “Creating a business opportunity together now that she’s at Condé Nast– a brand we’ve long admired– was a huge priority for us both.” Added the studio’s President of Creative Affairs Jonnie Davis, “The publications of Condé Nast are famous for telling some of the most compelling stories imaginable.” Fox 21 President Bert Salke referred to the Condé Nast brands as being “of provocative, groundbreaking storytelling.”
So far, CNÉ has made a mark in TV on the unscripted side with three series on the air, Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery, The Fashion Fund on Ovation and Geeks Who Drink on Syfy. That area … Read More »
One of the key writers-producers on the recently departed How I Met Your Mother, Kourtney Kang, is staying at the studio behind the long-running CBS comedy, 20th Century Fox TV, with a new overall deal. Under the two-year pact, Kang will join the studio’s new ABC comedy series Fresh Off The Boat as co-executive producer and develop new projects. “Kourtney was a hugely valuable member of the writing staff of How I Met Your Mother since the very first season, so of course we wanted to continue our relationship,” said 20th TV president of creative affairs Jonnie Davis. “She’s a fantastic writer who effortlessly melds ‘big funny’ with ‘heart,’ and we all love her here.” Kang, repped by UTA and attorney Ken Richman, started on HIMYM as a writer after the pilot and worked her way up to executive producer. She also co-created and executive produced 20th TV’s comedy pilot for CBS Livin’ On A Prayer with HIMYM creators/exec producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas as well as the show’s writer-producer Joe Kelly.
As TBS announced today a sixth and final season for Cougar Town, several other comedies are attempting, like Cougar Town, to find a new home after being cancelled or passed over at the broadcast networks. I hear Warner Bros TV’s Suburgatory — which is three seasons into its run the way Cougar Town was when it was facing cancellation at ABC and moved to TBS — is exploring other options for the quirky comedy, cancelled on by Thursday by ABC, with sibling TBS among the possibilities. Similarly, I hear 20th Century Fox TV is determined to work hard on finding a new home for Friends With Better Lives, which was cancelled by CBS today after a short midseason run. 20th TV also is said to be shopping the Kevin Hart comedy pilot starring Romany Malco, which came very close to a series order at ABC. The network instead went with the ABC Studios’ produced Black-ish starring Anthony Anderson on Thursday, with the project’s showrunner Larry Wilmore announcing a day later that he would depart to host a show on Comedy Central.
It wasn’t hard to notice last night that there was a connection between the three comedy projects that had been expected to get pickups but didn’t: pilots Cristela and Fresh Off The Boat and series Last Man Standing. All three hail from 20th Century Fox TV. I hear the three are part of a negotiation between ABC and the studio that somewhat echoes last year’s four-series negotiation between Sony TV and NBC that included pilots The Blacklist, Welcome To The Family and Night Shift and returning Community. I hear the issue is a request from the network for a license fee reduction on Last Man Standing. I hear the network had made the same request last year after Last Man‘s first season in the lower-trafficked Friday 8 PM slot in what was supposed to be a one-time thing. I hear the studio agreed and Last Man was renewed for a third season.
Related: The Success Of Cristela Alonzo & Jerrod Carmichael’s Projects And What That Says About Pilot System
Further squeezing the license fee for the show may be problematic for the studio as star Tim Allen commands a six-figure per-episode pay check. On the other hand, sibling Twentieth TV had been shopping Last Man for a syndication sale, so getting a fourth season … Read More »
Rich Blomquist, who with wife Kristen Schaal, Phil Lord & Chris Miller created the ABC pilot American Monster, has closed a two-year overall deal with the show’s producer 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, the longtime writer on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart will develop new projects for the studio. “Rich is one of those rare voices — hilarious, irreverent, completely unique and fiercely intelligent,” said 20th Century Fox TV president of creative affairs Jonny Davis. “We loved him from The Daily Show and knew we wanted to be in business with him exclusively. We loved working with him on American Monster and we can’t wait to develop with him again.”
Blomquist was a writer for The Daily Show for 10 seasons, sharing in seven Emmy variety series writing wins and a WGA Best Comedy/Variety Series win 2010. Before that he was a contributing writer on Saturday Night Live. He also co-wrote The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex in 2010. He is repped by UTA.
Comedy writer-producer Aaron Lee has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV where he has been under show deals for the past few years. He is currently a co-executive producer on the studio’s Fox animated comedy series Family Guy. Prior to that, he was a supervising producer on 20th TV’s The New Normal on NBC and a supervising producer on the studio’s Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show. “Aaron’s a fantastic comedy writer who is incredibly versatile – he’s equally adept in live action, single cam, multi-cam, and animation,” 20th TV chairman and CEO Gary Newman said. “He’s just a hugely funny, up and coming irreverent voice.” Lee, repped by WME and Morris Yorn, created and executive produced the MTV animated series Where My Dogs At starring Tracy Morgan. In addition to his series work, he is an in-demand joke writer, who served as Head Writer for Comedy Central’s yearly Roast specials.
Fox TV Studios president David Madden has signed a new long-term contract with 20th Century Fox Television to remain at the helm of the boutique cable production company for at least four more years. Madden, a respected veteran TV executive and producer, was elevated to the top FtvS post in 2010 after a stint shepherding the company’s development as EVP creative development and production. He helped establish FtvS’ identity with such series as FX’s The Shield and The Americans, USA Network’s Burn Notice and White Collar, AMC’s The Killing – which he helped bring back from cancellation twice, once at AMC and once at Netflix. Because of the health of the company on Madden’s watch, FtvS was kept as an independent label after the company was put under the purview of 20th TV Studios CEO and chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman and not merged with 20th TV’s own successful cable arm, Fox21. “David encourages creators to take big swings, and the results have been breakthrough programs, from The Shield and The Killing to Burn Notice and The Americans,” Walden and Newman said. “He’s a smart, strategic leader who is beloved by both the creative community and his colleagues. We couldn’t be happier that he’ll be with us for many years to come.” In addition to White Collar and The Killing, which are heading into their final seasons, and The Americans, which is about to be renewed for … Read More »
On How I Met Your Mother‘s last day of production a month ago, Dana Walden — chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox TV, which produces the long-running series — was meeting with the big boss, 21st Century Fox chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, in his office. She mentioned HIMYM was wrapping that day and, in the middle of their meeting Murdoch said, “I want to go over and say hallo.” He walked to the set and thanked creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the cast and the crew “for all of the great work they have done.” “For a show to provoke that kind of response from Rupert, it speaks to how important that show has been to the company,” Walden said.
If such a gesture from the head of a global conglom might come as a surprise, it is probably because HIMYM, which wraps its nine-season run tonight on CBS, has flown largely under the radar. HIMYM hasn’t been a blockbuster ratings hit like The Big Bang Theory, hasn’t made headlines with a record-breaking syndication deal like 2 Broke Girls, and hasn’t been an awards darling like Modern Family, never landing an Emmy in the major categories. But it broke ground, pushing the limits of the traditional multi-camera sitcom with a new production model and heavy serialization that helped it attract younger (18-34) viewers, something very few multi-cam comedies have been able to do in the past decade as young audiences have been largely shunning the format in favor of edgier single-camera fare.
Multi-camera comedies had tried employing shorter scenes before, most notably NBC’s Seinfeld. But Bays and Thomas’ pilot script for How I Met Your Mother called for a pace that had not been achieved before. It included a whopping 59 scenes, plus freeze frames with narration, whip pans, a split screen scene and a montage. That’s not how you normally see in a multi-camera sitcom, which is what CBS had bought in HIMYM. But then, Carter and Bays didn’t quite know normal. The young writers were recent transplants to Los Angeles and primetime after a stint at CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman. They had only worked for a couple of very short-lived comedy series and had never developed before HIMYM. “This was new to them, and they didn’t know the limitations of what they can and cannot do, so they wrote what was in their heads,” Walden said. Read More »
Samantha Who? co-creator Don Todd has inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, Todd is joining the studio’s Fox drama Sleepy Hollow as a consulting producer and will develop new projects. The overall deal follows Todd’s stint as executive produce on 20th TV’s midseason ABC drama Mind Games, on which he assisted creator/executive producer Kyle Killen with showrunner duties. Todd started his career with back-to-back stints on The Twilight Zone and Alf and has straddled the drama and comedy worlds ever since, working on such series as The Misfits Of Science, Caroline In The City, Ugly Betty and Hart Of Dixie. “We had such a fantastic experience working with Don on Mind Games that we knew we wanted to expand our relationship with him,” 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. “He’s as versatile as they come, equally adept at writing comedy and drama, and he also offers a wealth of production experience. He’ll be a fantastic addition to one of our top series, Sleepy Hollow, and we can’t wait to develop with him.” Todd is repped by Rothman Brecher.
Former Nikita co-executive producer Albert Kim has signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. The pact, which has an option for a third year, marks Kim’s first overall deal. Under the agreement, Kim will work on 20th TV’s upcoming Fox adventure series Hieroglyph and will later join the second season of the studio’s breakout Fox drama Sleepy Hollow as a co-executive producer. He also will develop. “This was highly sought after,” said 20th president of creative affairs Johnny Davis of the deal. “We build shows around a voice, and Albert has a very specific voice; his writing is compelling and an adrenaline rush.”
Related: 20th Century Fox TV’s Head Of Current Jeffrey Glaser Upped To EVP
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20th Century Fox TV continues to dole out promotions to its top executive under chairmen/CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. Following the recent elevation of Jonathan Davis to President, Creative Affairs, félicitations are in order for one of his new direct reports, 20th TV’s longtime head of current programming Jeffrey Glaser. (More on his French connection later.) Glaser, who had served as SVP Current Programming for 20th TV since 2003, when Walden and Newman created the department with him at the helm, has been upped to EVP. “Jeffrey has led our current programming team for many years, and has done a spectacular job keeping our shows creatively strong and vibrant, helping to earn them well-deserved renewals year after year,” Davis said. Read More »