EXCLUSIVE: Clyde Phillips has signed a new two-year overall deal with Lionsgate Television. Phillips recently joined Lionsgate’s dark comedy Nurse Jackie, and his duties as executive producer/showrunner on the Showtime series will fall under his new pact …
EXCLUSIVE: Former Dexter executive producer/showrunner Clyde Phillips is returning to Showtime as showrunner of the network’s half-hour series Nurse Jackie. With him on board, the dark comedy starring Edie Falco has been renewed for a fifth season. On Nurse Jackie, Phillips succeeds co-creators Linda Wallem and Liz Brixius, who recently left after serving as co-showrunners for the first four seasons. Coincidentally, what was a major reason for Los Angeles-based Wallem and Brixius to depart Nurse Jackie — the fact that it films in New York — was key to getting Phillips on board. Like Wallem and Brixius, Phillips too left Dexter after four years of a cross-country commute between Connecticut, where he lives with his family, and Los Angeles, where the Showtime drama is shot. To be close to his family, he made working on East Coast-based shows a condition in his 2010 overall deal with Lionsgate TV, which co-produces Nurse Jackie with Showtime. Phillips will serve as an executive producer on Nurse Jackie alongside Falco, Richie Jackson and Caryn Mandabach. Production on Season 5 will begin in late 2012.
EXCLUSIVE: Clyde Phillips has set up his first post-Dexter project. After a bidding war among several cable networks, HBO has landed a character-driven drama from Phillips and Lionsgate TV based on the Israeli series The Naked Truth. Phillips, who spent 4 years at Showtime running Dexter, will write the adaptation and will executive produce the project, his first under the 2-year overall deal with Lionsgate TV he signed in June. The Naked Truth is set in a major East Coast metropolitan precinct and follows the officers investigating the disappearance of a teenage girl from a prominent family in the pressure cooker atmosphere of an explosive high-profile case that has implications not just for the family of the victim, but for the cops themselves and the political infrastructure of the city. “It’s about the cops encountering people on the worst day of the citizens’ life,” Phillips said. “It’s a bit of an exploration of the middle class and the challenges we all face; it’s a heartbreaking story about a family in a time of crisis and how everyone deals with it.”
Former Dexter executive producer/showrunner Clyde Phillips has inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal at Lionsgate TV. For Lionsgate, this marks a rare pact with a writer-producer not tied to one of the company’s flagship series, like Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, who is under an overall there, as well as Weeds creator Jenji Kohan and her top lieutenant on the show Matthew Salsberg. But Phillips’ work on Showtime’s Dexter, which he joined after the pilot, as well as his background in both comedy and drama (Phillips also created the Fox dramedy Get Real and created the NBC comedy Suddenly Susan and the Fox half-hour Parker Lewis) were a major draw, Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs said. “These days comedy and drama are overlapping on the best cable series,” Beggs said. “And Phillips is the real deal; it’s hard to find people who are not only brilliant writers but can also manage a production.”