The times are a’changin’. In case you’ve been wondering what the currently agentless (because WGA-ATA conflagration!) super writer-producers are doing to keep themselves in the style to which we all wish we were accustomed, here ’tis!
Showrunners Testing Waters With Multiple TV Overall Deals
by Lesley Goldberg
How much work is too much for a top showrunner? In a Peak TV era overflowing with choice, content creators big and small are leveraging the demand for their services with deals for exclusivity on different platforms.
On Aug. 7, Jeff Davis (Criminal Minds) inked a “broadcast-only” overall deal with the newly independent Fox Entertainment. While the pact was designed to be beneficial to the network — which says it also could sell Davis’ fare to outside platforms — the showrunner is still free to sign another TV overall deal elsewhere. That practice, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, has been growing quietly for the past few years as new platforms have emerged.
Deals such as CBS TV Studios’ 2015 pact with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free are also for broadcast only. Now, sources say some prolific producers are shifting away from the all-encompassing exclusive overall deal that media titans like Netflix and WarnerMedia can offer such creators as Ryan Murphy and J.J. Abrams, respectively, and instead are opting for a variety of deals on four levels: broadcast, basic cable, premium cable and streaming.
And for some, a fifth level — film — is an option, too. Sources say one prolific producer with scripted series at a broadcast network and three different streaming outlets — effectively working with four totally different companies — has quietly renewed a broadcast-only deal and is closing in on an exclusive streaming pact with another outlet.
Confused? Don’t be. Take Abrams, who is in final negotiations for a $500 million film and TV overall with WarnerMedia, as an example. The prolific writer, producer and director previously had two separate deals — a film pact with Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures and a TV deal with Warners….
Read it all at hollywoodreporter.com