20th Century Fox TV are getting in bed with David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith’s KatzSmith Productions for them to develop comedies, dramas and animation series for all of Fox’s networks in broadcast, streaming and cable. They’ll be working with their new SVP of Development, Aaron Schmidt, on this two-year initiative.
The writing and producing partners first came together in 2012 for the MTV comedy The Hard Times of RJ Berger, before Katzenberg went off to executive produce and direct ABC’s hit show The Goldbergs and direct episodes of HBO’s Ballers.
Grahame-Smith would focus more on writing with the screenplay for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, adapting his own novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter into a film he co-produced with Burton, and this year’s animated hit The LEGO Batman Movie. Grahame-Smith was at one point attached to direct Warner Bros.’ superhero movie The Flash.
Upcoming for the duo is their adaptation of Stephen King’s It for Warner Bros. which is already tracking to be a huge hit. They’re also continuing to develop a sequel to Tim Burton’s beloved eighties film Beetlejuice for Burton to direct and have been involved with developing a feature based on the Swedish comedy short Kung Fury. They’re also part of the development team to make a Gremlins 3 and a new Looney Tunes movie.
In the press release from Fox TV, the producing duo made a joking reference to another television writing duo who made a similar pod deal with the studio in 2013:
“We have huge respect for Gary (Newman), Dana (Walden), Jonnie, Howard (Kurtzman) and everyone on their team. They have great taste, and we’re determined to win for them. Embarking on a TV deal at Fox also fits our corporate philosophy, which is: do everything Lord and Miller did four years ago.”
Katzenberg and Grahame-Smith are represented by WME and Morris Yorn Barnes.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor