20th Century Fox TV has promoted Howard Kurtzman to President, Business Operations, and Mark Pearson to EVP Brand Management and Digital Media. Both report to chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who made the announcement today. Kurtzman will expand his responsibilities to include additional involvement with the studio’s expanding cable production units Fox 21 and Fox Television Studios, while continuing to oversee the company’s business and legal affairs operations. Pearson continues to lead the exploitation of the studio’s brands across all distribution channels, with specific emphasis on digital and new media, overseeing the company’s Brand Management, Strategy, Marketing, Research and Music operations. He helps guide Twentieth TV’s home entertainment, DVD and SVOD strategies, and works alongside the syndication division on new broadcast and cable sales and the digital entertainment group on developing mobile apps and games.
Modern Family executive producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh have closed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, the studio behind the Emmy-winning comedy series. Under the pact, the duo will continue on Modern Family, where they have been since the inception and will develop new projects for the studio. They recently shepherded the proposed Modern Family spinoff starring Rob Riggle. “Paul and Brad are smart, funny guys and Chris and Steve love them as much as we do,” 20th chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman said. “Five seasons in, Modern Family is about as perfect a comedy series as there is, and this deal with Paul and Brad keeps them on this winning team as well as allows them to develop their own projects down the road.” Corrigan and Walsh were recently nominated for a WGA Award for the episode “Career Day” featuring Riggle and shared in the show’s WGA and PGA nominations this year. Additionally, they shared in Modern Family‘s 2013 Primetime Emmy win for Outstanding Comedy Series, winning four consecutive Emmys in this category. The duo, who previously worked on Fox/20th TV’s animated series King Of The Hill, are repped by UTA and attorney Jared Levine.
EXCLUSIVE: Veteran animated comedy writer-producer David Goodman has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV where he has been for the past decade and a half. Goodman has spent most of that time working with 20th TV-based uber producer Seth MacFarlane — eight years on the animated Family Guy, where Goodman rose to executive producer/showrunner, and currently consulting on live-action freshman Dads. Additionally, Goodman co-created and served as showrunner on 20th TV’s animated comedy Murder Police, which was picked up to series by Fox but will not air; developed/ran the studio’s Fox animated series Allen Gregory; and served as a co-executive producer on 20th/Fox’s Futurama.
EXCLUSIVE: Family Guy veteran Steve Callaghan has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, his second overall pact with the studio that produces the long running animated series. Under the new deal, Callaghan will continue his duties as executive producer/co-showrunner of the 12th season of Family Guy, alongside Rich Appel. Callaghan started on Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy on day one as a writer’s assistant, eventually moving up to EP/co-showrunner in 2009. He served in that role until last fall when another long-time MacFarlane lieutenant, Appel, returned to the series as new showrunner, with Callaghan remaining executive producer. In January, Callaghan joined another animated MacFarlane/20th TV series, American Dad, which brought him in as EP/showrunner for Season 8. With American Dad moving to TBS, Callaghan in July was summoned back to help flagship Family Guy in a co-showrunner capacity. “Steve‘s career is a huge success story for this studio,” 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. “He literally started as a writer’s assistant on the very first episode and rose through the ranks to become one of Seth’s most trusted showrunners. He is incredible in the writer’s room, is a walking encyclopedia of all things Family Guy and is probably the tallest writer we’ve ever employed. But most importantly, he’s hilarious and just a great guy who we value enormously.” Callaghan is repped by WME and Morris Yorn.
EXCLUSIVE: As American Dad is ramping up production on its eleventh season and first on TBS, the animated comedy’s co-creator/executive producer/co-showrunner Mike Barker has stepped down. He remains under an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind American Dad. Barker has been running the series with fellow co-creator/exec producer Matt Weitzman (the two co-created it with executive producer Seth MacFarlane). For the time being, Weitzman will serve as sole showrunner. American Dad is in the beginning stages of making the first four episodes of Season 11, which have held their table reads as part of a nine-month production cycle per episode. I hear the change at the helm was made over concerns that the show was not running smoothly. Barker has been on American Dad since the show’s 2005 launch except for a short-term leave last season.
TV and film writer Drew (formerly Andrew) Chapman is set to adapt his upcoming first novel, The Ascendant, as a drama series for Fox through 20th Century Fox TV. In the vein of Three Days of the Condor, The Ascendant is described as a modern, subversive take on the white-knuckle thriller. It centers on Garrett Reilly, a 26-year-old NYC bond trader and financial wunderkind who recognizes a huge U.S. Treasury bond selloff and an opportunity to become incredibly rich but stumbles upon something much larger — and scarier: the first attack in a covert war of unthinkable proportions. The novel – which will be published by Simon & Schuster in January with a big initial print run of 75,000 — is envisioned as a franchise, with Chapman already writing the second book. In TV, Chapman, repped by Rothman Brecher Agency, Original Artists, Regal Literary, Ragna Nervik Management and Jonathan Shikora is writing ABC’s upcoming CIA limited series The Assets and previously penned the ABC pilot A House Divided.
Lithium is another hourlong Fox project from 20th TV, written/executive produced by Michael Horowitz (Burn Notice) and executive produced by Richard Shepard and Bryan and Sean Furst through their 20th TV-based Olé.
EXCLUSIVE: Another hot Swedish novel is headed for an U.S. screen adaptation. 20th Century Fox TV has acquired rights to the upcoming thriller De Redan Döda by author Robert Karjel, for studio-based Chernin Entertainment to develop as a drama series with Sweden-based Yellow Bird Entertainment. Titled The Swede, the project centers on a Swedish secret service agent summoned to a remote U.S. military base to interrogate a prisoner thought to be a fellow Swede. He is drawn into the complex investigation led by a female CIA agent, where the evidence takes them from the 2004 Thailand tsunami to a terrorist attack in Topeka, Kansas, and where no one is who they seem to be. De Redan Döda follows in the footsteps of the Millennium trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, which became the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movie franchise and Leif G.W. Persson’s Backstrom books, which have been in series development at 20th TV for the past two seasons, most recently going to pilot at CBS starring Rainn Wilson last spring.
Ahead of its Season 4 November 15 debut on Fox, comedy series Raising Hope has been sold in over 180 markets, increasing its clearances to 80% of the country, Twentieth Television announced today. Set to debut in syndication next year, Raising Hope is sold in top 10 markets including New York. Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, San Francisco and Atlanta. The series has already been sold in cable off-network syndication to FXX and CMT. Additional clearances include stations from broadcast groups Sinclair, Lin Broadcasting, and Larry H. Miller Communications. Previously announced sales include CBS Station Group’s WLNY (New York), KCAL (Los Angeles), KTXA (Dallas), WSBK (Boston), KBCW (San Francisco), KSTW (Seattle), WTOG (Tampa), KMAX (Sacramento); Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU (Chicago).
New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and her producing partner, Rivka Sophia Rossi, have sold two projects under their first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV: one with Mickey Rapkin, whose non-fiction book Pitch Perfect became the hit comedy feature, and one based on a property from Deschanel and Rossi’s successful female-centric online venture Hello Giggles with Molly McAleer (2 Broke Girls). Fox’s Freelancers is from 20th TV and Deschanel and Rossi’s Miss Hawkins banner. Written by Rapkin, it centers on a disgraced and newly-single lawyer who, after getting fired from his corporate job, has to start over at age 30. He sets up shop at one of those modern, shared office spaces that are suddenly everywhere, where he’s forced to interact with a diverse group of oddball freelancers. Rossi, Deschanel and Rapkin, who is repped by UTA, Management 360, and Sean Marks, executive produce.
NBC’s And Lies I Tell My Daughter, from HelloGiggles and 20th, is based on the Hellogiggles column by Julia Obst. Written by Deb Schoeneman (Girls), it centers on an unconventional mom finds that honesty is not always the best policy when it comes to her new family. Rossi, Deschanel, McAleer and Schoeneman exec produce. Schoeneman is repped by UTA and Morris Yorn; McAleer is with WME, Mosaic, and Ginsburg Daniels; Rossi is repped by 3 Arts, UTA, …
Glee and American Horror Story co-creator Brad Falchuk has signed a rich new three-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind both series. Under the pact, Falchuck will continue to co-showrun and executive produce both Fox’s Glee and FX’s American Horror Story with fellow co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy, along with developing new projects for network and cable. “To have co-created two of the biggest hits of the decade with Ryan Murphy in Glee and American Horror Story is a pretty remarkable achievement, and it speaks to Brad’s originality and gifts as a storyteller,” 20th chairman Dana Walden said. “While this deal ensures he’ll continue to help guide those important series, we think he has even more hits up his sleeve. He also happens to be one of the nicest guys you will ever work with, and everyone—from executives to his cast and crew—adores him.” Falchuk, repped by WME and Gendler & Kelly, has worked with Murphy for the past decade, first on Murphy’s FX drama Nip/Tuck where he started off as a staff writer, rising to executive producer before segueing to co-create two series with him.
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow receiving a second-season pickup, the series’ co-creator/executive producer Len Wiseman has signed a two-year overall deal with the studio behind the hot freshman, 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, Wiseman will continue as an executive producer on Sleepy Hollow while developing new projects through his production company Sketch Films, run by head of development David Bernardi. Wiseman has played a key role in the pickup and success of Sleepy Hollow. While the script — written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Phillip Iscove and Wiseman — made the cut to pilot, it was Wiseman’s direction that propelled the pilot to the list of frontrunners, with Fox chairman Kevin Reilly calling the finished product the biggest surprise of the network’s pilot season. The series’ visual style also has been lauded by critics and fans as one of its top draws. “Len brilliantly directed and produced the Sleepy Hollow pilot and truly helped define the series,” said 20th TV chairman Gary Newman. “We knew the minute he delivered the first cut that this was a gifted artist we wanted to be in business with long term. This deal keeps him in the family and creatively involved in this important show for us, while also giving him the ability to create, direct and produce other projects as well.” Sleepy …
Brad Garrett, who starred in ABC/20th TV’s midseason comedy series How To Live With Your Parents, is back in business with ABC and 20th TV with a starring half-hour vehicle. The network has handed a pilot script commitment with significant penalty to When the Balls Drop, a single-camera comedy staring and co-written and executive produced by the Emmy-winning Everybody Loves Raymond alum. Inspired by Garrett’s forthcoming autobiographical book of the same name, When The Balls Drop is an honest look at life’s second half through the eyes of a divorced family man as he juggles home life, work, and the hilarious realities of middle-age. Garrett is co-writing with Chuck Tatham. The two are executive producing with Television 360′s Eryn Brown and Meghan Lyvers. Additionally, 20th TV has signed Garrett in a talent deal, allowing the studio to cast him in an existing pilot project should Balls not go to pilot. Garrett, currently guest starring on 20th TV’s new CBS series The Crazy Ones, is repped by Management 360, UTA and attorney Michael Gendler; Tatham is with WME and The Collective.
Carolyn Cassidy has been promoted to SVP Comedy Development and Steven Sicherman has been upped to SVP Current Programming. Cassidy has been VP Comedy Series since 2009 and Sicherman has served as Director Comedy Series since 2001. Cassidy reports to Jonathan Davis, EVP Comedy Development and Animation, and Sicherman to Jeffrey Glaser, SVP Current Programming. Their promotions are effective immediately. Cassidy has shepherded the development of FBC’s New Girl, ABC’s Last Man Standing and CBS’ new series, The Crazy Ones. She oversees a roster of producers, writers and directors for the studio including The Chernin Company, 21 Laps/Adelstein, Jake Kasdan, Jenny Bicks, Cindy Chupack, Kay Cannon, Corrigan & Walsh and Yuspa & Goldsmith. Sicherman has worked on dozens of hit series at 20th including CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, Still Standing and Yes, Dear, FX’S American Horror Story, Arrested Development (both Fox and Netflix versions), FBC’s Glee, Raising Hope, Andy Richter Controls The Universe, Bernie Mac, New Girl, the WB’s Rebal and ABC’s Better Off Ted and Last Man Standing. He is currently shepherding the studio’s freshmen entries Dads on FBC and Friends With Better Lives (midseason on CBS). Before joining 20th, Sicherman served as Director of Series Development at MTV.
EXCLUSIVE: A mental institution will live up to its funny farm nickname as the setting of a half-hour NBC comedy project written and executive produced by playwright-screenwriter Neil LaBute (The Shape Of Things) and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. Harmony House centers on a young psychiatric resident who finds the woman of his dreams in the most unlikely of places: as a patient in the psychiatric facility where he recently has taken a job. The single-camera project is a romantic comedy that reminds us that love can drive you a little crazy. 20th Century Fox TV is producing. The Harmony House sale comes on the heels of ICM Partners-repped LaBute signing a deal with DirecTV to produce a series of 10 short films about human relationships. DirecTV’s limited series Full Circle, based on LaBute scripts, premieres next month.
New Regency‘s television arm will be based at 20th Century Fox TV with an exclusive pod deal. Under the pact, New Regency will develop and produce projects for broadcast and cable networks. The agreement formalizes ongoing partnership between the two companies on a couple of projects, including The Kingkiller Chronicles, which was announced in July. Additionally, New Regency/20th TV’s development slate include series adaptations of the 2004 New Regency movie Man On Fire with writer David DiGilio and of graphic novel Cyclops with writer Todd Komarnicki, both set up at Fox. The pod deal also brings New Regency back into the Fox TV family. In its first incarnation, Regency Television was a co-venture between New Regency and Fox TV Studios, which is under the oversight of 20th TV chairmen Gary Newman and Dana Walden. This also marks a strategy course change for New Regency toppers Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston, who originally restarted a TV operation run by Andrew Plotkin last year as an independent company. “Arnon and Brad are master showmen with impeccable taste in material and fantastic relationships in the creative community,” Newman said. “The features they make share the same spirit of creative risk taking that is a hallmark of our studio, so it made perfect sense to align with them as they begin to develop for TV.”
Heading into its fourth season on Fox, 20th TV‘s comedy Raising Hope has been sold in more than 140 markets, representing 55% of the country, in barter deals between Twentieth TV and the stations. Set to debut in syndication in 2014, Raising Hope is sold in top 10 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, San Francisco and Atlanta, with the CBS O&Os as its core station group. The comedy from Greg Garcia will also debut in cable syndication next year, airing on CMT, WGN America and FXX. Stations Raising Hope has been sold to include CBS Station Group’s WLNY (New York), KCAL (Los Angeles), KTXA (Dallas), WSBK (Boston), KBCW (San Francisco), KSTW (Seattle), WTOG (Tampa), KMAX (Sacramento) and Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU (Chicago).
20th Century Fox Television has issued a statement on today’s memorial for Glee star Cory Monteith. The studio noted the gathering was private and no further details would be released. Monteith died from an overdose of heroin and alcohol earlier this month. Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy told Deadline at Comic-Con last weekend that the cast would begin shooting the two episodes already written in late August, followed by a tribute episode and a “long hiatus”. The statement:
Today, Ryan Murphy and Lea Michele gathered the cast, crew and producers of Glee, along with colleagues from the network and studio, to share memories and music in an emotional celebration of the life of Cory Monteith. We thank the public for their continued outpouring of love and support as we grieve our friend and colleague during this difficult time.
New Regency Productions and 20th Century Fox Television have optioned Patrick Rothfuss’ fantasy trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle to develop into a drama series. Eric Heisserer (Hours, The Thing) is attached to adapt the series and will exec produce. Arnon Milchan, Andrew Plotkin, Brad Weston and Robert Lawrence (Die Hard With A Vengeance) also serve as exec producers. Set in a compelling world where the sharpest minds can master magic, The Kingkiller Chronicles tells the story of Kvothe, a streetwise young man who hopes to one day hunt down the mysterious group that murdered his family. The first book, The Name of the Wind, was published in spring 2007; the second, The Wise Man’s Fear, dropped in March 2011. Both hit No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. The third book in the trilogy, The Doors of Stone (working title), is expected to be out some time next year.
Related: 2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations
HBO Entertainment/Films (95)
Game of Thrones – 16
Behind the Candelabra – 15
Phil Spector – 11
Boardwalk Empire – 10
The Girl – 6
Girls – 5
Veep – 5
Ethel – 5
Mea Maxima Culpa: In the House of God – 5
Louis C.K.: Oh My God – 4
Crossfire Hurricane – 4
The Newsroom – 3
Enlightened – 2
Real Time with Bill Maher – 2
An Apology to Elephants – 1
True Blood – 1
20th Century Fox TV/fox 21/FTVS (57)
American Horror Story: Asylum – 17
Modern Family – 12
Homeland – 11
Glee – 4
How I Met Your Mother – 4
Arrested Development – 3
The Americans – 2
Family Guy – 2
Bob’s Burgers – 1
The Simpsons – 1