EXCLUSIVE: The Simpsons veteran Mike Scully has signed a multi-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the seven-figure pact, he will join 20th TV’s upcoming Ryan Murphy-Ali Adler NBC comedy series The New Normal and will develop new live-action or animated projects for the studio. Additionally, Scully will continue his part-time gig working one day a week on The Simpsons where he has been for the past two decades. 20th TV chairman Dana Walden, who first joined the studio in 1992 said, “I can’t remember a time when Mike wasn’t part of one show or another at the studio.”
After a decade as a full-time writer-producer on The Simpsons, Scully segued to development for 20th TV with several projects, including comedy pilot The Pitts, which Walden said she loved. He went on to work on shows elsewhere, including CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond and NBC’s Parks & Recreation, but never cut his ties with 20th TV through his gig on The Simpsons. Scully also recently worked on the studio’s Fox animated comedy series Napoleon Dynamite. “He is an incredibly funny and hugely talented guy who is great in the room and as part of a production,” Walden said. UTA-repped Scully has shared in six best series Emmy awards, five for The Simpsons and one for Raymond.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At today’s TCA panel on Fox’s new animated series Napoleon Dynamite, executive producer Mike Scully, also a longtime producer of The Simpsons, joked that the creative team behind Dynamite should be called “Two Mormons and an Atheist Productions.” That’s because Scully joins Jared Hess and wife Jerusha, the creative couple behind the 2004 cult film, in producing the TV series. The Hesses are Mormons; Scully is not. Although the long-running The Simpsons has a reputation for occasionally raunchy humor, Scully said he sees no conflict in working on Dynamite, which will maintain the movie’s clean, PG-rated family tone. The film’s original cast will voice the characters, including Jon Heder as Napoleon. “I learned on The Simpsons that the raunchy joke is the easiest one, or the pop culture joke,” Scully said. “It’s always fun if you can exercise another part of your brain. When I saw the film, I was laughing so hard I didn’t realize the movie was rated PG. We’ve probably had three or four differences on jokes, but no one is storming out of the room.” Read More »
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
When a comedy writer moderates a WGA panel of his peers, the audience is bound to get more jokes than straight answers. That’s what happened tonight at this year’s ‘Primetime Sublime’ panel featuring Emmy-nominated writers moderated by The Simpsons’ Mike Scully. Joking “Let’s start on a light note – The Killing!”, Scully turned to the AMC mystery’s showrunner, Veena Sud, who was nominated for the pilot. “So you were looking for something dark, coming off Cold Case? I like that [your] scenes don’t end with David Caruso tipping his sunglasses and saying: ‘This seems like a case of sour rapes.’”
Next, Scully moved on to Peter Gould, writer of the HBO movie Too Big to Fail, based on the non-fiction book of the same title by Andrew Ross Sorkin which dissects that 2008 financial meltdown. “It’s about banks closing, businesses going under: how do you make that shit up, man?” Scully asked Gould. As Gould attempted to explain the difficulties of writing about controversial real-life characters, Scully jumped in to inform the audience that as a writer Gould also had to contend with HBO pressuring him to “add a vampire … or have Turtle from Entourage drop by with some crazy financial scheme.” Scully also cracked wise that if the script had been based on a book by Aaron Sorkin, and not Andrew Ross Sorkin, the film “would have won an Academy Award, not an Emmy.”… Read More »
Veteran Simpsons writer Mike Scully will receive the Writers Guild of America, West Animation Writers Caucus’ 13th annual Animation Writing Award, a lifetime achievement honor, which will be presented to him tonight at the AWC’s annual awards ceremony. “Whether penning episodes of The Simpsons, one of the most acclaimed, influential, and long-running series in TV history, or playing a key role in organizing the field of animation writing on behalf of the Guild, Mike’s contributions to both the craft and business of animation writing make him more than deserving of this award,” said WGAW president John Wells. Scully’s television writing credits include Parks and Recreation, Everybody Loves Raymond, Complete Savages and The Pitts. He also co-wrote The Simpsons Movie and is an executive producer of the upcoming Fox animated series Napoleon Dynamite. Previous AWC Writing Award honorees include Al Jean, Brad Bird, Michael Reiss, Linda Woolverton and Stan Berkowitz.
Fox has picked up two animated series eyed for next season, Napoleon Dynamite, an adaptation of the hit 2004 movie, and Allen Gregory, co-written and executive produced by Jonah Hill. Both series are produced by 20th Century Fox TV; Allen Gregory is a co-production with studio-based Chernin Entertainment. The order to Napoleon Dynamite is for 6 episodes, while Allen Gregory has been picked up for 7 episodes. Both projects originated as presentations. Read More »