With two series on the air, Michael Schur is among the key writer-producers on Universal Television‘s roster, and the studio is making sure he stays there. Uni TV has signed a new overall deal with Schur, keeping him in the fold through 2016. Schur is co-creator/executive producer on the Uni TV-produced Parks And Recreation, which enters its sixth season on NBC, and new comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which launches on Fox this fall. “Mike is a wildly talented writer and, hands-down, one of the best showrunners in the business,” said Universal TV EVP Bela Bajaria. “He is funny, collaborative, smart, solution-oriented and incredibly creative.” Schur has spent most of his career at NBC, starting with a writing gig on Saturday Night Live and working for two years on The Office before moving to Parks & Recreation. “I couldn’t be happier about extending my stay at Universal TV,” Schur said. “Bob (Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment), Jen (Salke, President, NBC Entertainment), Bela and their teams have shown me a tremendous amount of encouragement and support, and not just creatively. This weekend Bob is helping me paint my garage, and Bela is my spotter when I lift.” Schur is with UTA, David Miner at 3 Arts and attorney Ken Richman.
Here’s is the Deadline/TVline assessment of 2011 Emmy comedy races:
Deadline/TVline: 2011 Comedy Series Overview
Competition for Emmy nominations among this year’s Outstanding Comedy Series contestants is no laughing matter. The showdown between two 20th Century TV hits …
Deadline TV contributor Diane Haithman files this report:
NBC’s Parks And Recreation, which stars Amy Poehler as a small town public servant, has a sterling pedigree for an Emmy. It was created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who respectively are the creator and creative team member for NBC’s multi-award-winning veteran comedy The Office. And The Office was adapted by Daniels from the popular BBC series created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who join Daniels as executive producers of the U.S. version.
But there’s a downside to being part of this royal family. While The Office has been crowned with the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, Parks And Recreation has not. Poehler was nominated in 2010 but did not win. Plus, out of the box, the show had to live down comparisons to The Office ever since the newer series came on the TV landscape in April 2009. It even airs in the Thursday 9:30 p.m. time slot just after The Office — which won for Outstanding Comedy in 2006 and which in turn follows 30 Rock, which took the crown in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Yet, even as a direct descendent of Emmy-winners, Parks And Recreation remains a commoner, like Kate Middleton before Prince William handed her the wedding ring.
Mike Schur has shared in The Office’s Emmy success, but Parks And Recreation is his own offspring. Nevertheless, he has to constantly correct the popular misconception that Parks and Recreation is an Office spinoff. That’s because the newer show was originally intended to be a spinoff, but then developed with its own original concept. But Schur says the real inspiration for Parks and Recreation came from another multiple-Emmy winner. “I was a huge West Wing fan, and I thought maybe we could think of this as a half-hour comedy version. In The West Wing, it’s about Russia about to invade China. In our show, it’s about your local garbage. We did some research into the lives of municipal government bureaucrats and it was like, wow, this has just not been done. There have been shows about mayors or governors or presidents, but not about the unelected officials doing their day jobs.”