EXCLUSIVE: Homeland co-executive producer Chip Johannessen has signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, whose cable division Fox 21 produces the hot Showtime drama. Under the pact, Johannessen will continue on Homeland, where he will be upped to executive producer for the upcoming second season. He also will develop new projects for cable and broadcast.
Johannessen, who was an executive producer on Fox’s 24 alongside Homeland creators/executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, served as showrunner of Showtime’s flagship drama Dexter before segueing to Homeland, which was successfully paired with Dexter for its launch. “Chip is a true cable voice,” said Fox 21 president Bert Salke, who had pursued Johannessen for development for a while. “He is irreplaceable on (Homeland); he is a key member and a backbone of the writing group and has become more active in showrunner duties.” ICM-repped Johannessen has written key episodes from Homeland‘s first season, including the explosive season finale. The pact with Johannessen comes on the heels of an overall deal for Gansa as 20th TV and Fox 21 are looking to keep intact what Salke called a “murderers’ row” of writers on the show, all of whom have showrunner experience: Gordon, Gansa, Johannessen, Alexander Cary, Meredith Stiehm and Henry Bromell. “That list sounds ridiculous; I haven’t seen a staff like that in the last 15 years,” said Salke, adding that the studio hopes to be working with them “for a long, long time.”