EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of Hazy Mills’ freshman Grimm becoming the first NBC series to earn an early renewal for next season, Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s production company has signed a new two-year overall deal with Universal TV, which co-produces Grimm. This is the second consecutive pact at NBC for Hazy Mills Prods and the third overall (because of Hayes’ relationship with NBC and its sister studio through Will & Grace, the production banner was based there at its launch before moving to CBS Studios with two back-to-back deals). That stint at CBS proved fortuitous because there Hayes and Milliner developed a close relationship with then-CBS Studios’ head of cable development Bela Bajaria, who is now overseeing Universal TV as EVP.
Universal TV has changed a lot since Hayes and Milliner signed their previous deal there two years ago, with a new leadership and new mandate to transform itself into a full-fledged studio that supplies all networks. For their second term at Universal TV, “we’d like not only to build on the success of Grimm on NBC but also branch out to other places and try to really grow Hazy Mills,” Milliner said. In addition to Grimm, the company has two other series on the air, multi-camera comedy Hot In Cleveland and its upcoming spinoff starring Cedric The Entertainer on TV Land. “We haven’t had network multi-camera comedy, that will be a priority (under the new deal),” Milliner said. “And we’ve got to get Sean Hayes back on television and out of the office,” Milliner quipped, adding, “It’s great having him in the office but he is a sitcom star.” On the unscripted side, Hazy Mills has reality game show pilot Celebrity Game Night in consideration at NBC.