Warner Bros. TV has locked in comedy heavyweight Chuck Lorre for four more years. The Presidential term length of the deal fits Lorre’s position as the studio’s biggest money maker with three sitcoms that have been sold in syndication, Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.
The just-finalized new development and production deal includes a component for feature films Lorre would write, develop and/or direct for Warner Bros. Pictures. But its main focus will remain television, where Lorre also plans to expand his turf with forays into drama series and longform projects in addition to developing new comedy shows. Lorre will be targeting both broadcast and cable networks with his new development through his Chuck Lorre Prods., Warner Bros. TV and Warner Horizon TV. Additionally, Lorre will continue as executive producer of Two And A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.
Lorre has been at Warner Bros. TV since 2000, so the new deal will extend his stay there to 16 years. Lorre’s relationship with Warner Bros. TV president Peter Roth goes back even further, to 1995, when Roth, as President of 20th Century Fox TV, brought Lorre to that studio. “I’m proud to say that at twelve years and counting, my relationship with Warner Bros. is now officially longer than either of my marriages,” Lorre said. “With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to extend our little corporate love affair and try for ‘until death do us part.’ I’m also excited to have an opportunity to venture into the world of drama. After writing and producing sitcoms for twenty years, it’ll be a welcome relief to take all the violence, insanity and human suffering from behind the cameras and put it out front. And finally, the feature component of this new deal allows me to fulfill a lifelong ambition — to have a project in ‘turnaround.’”
Roth called Lorre “the quintessential comedy writer/producer of our time” and “the most successful creator/showrunner of the last 25 years in this business.” “Chuck has had a profound impact on Warner Bros. Television over the last 12 years, and we look forward to a long and successful future relationship,” he added.
WBTV stuck by Lorre in the verbal-turned-legal war with former Two And A Half Men star Charlie Sheen who lobbed public insults at Lorre last spring and then sued him and the studio over his termination from the hit comedy. The case was eventually settled, and Lorre successfully rebooted the veteran comedy with a new lead, Ashton Kutcher.
Prior to coming to WBTV, Lorre created and executive produced the hit sitcoms Dharma & Greg, Grace Under Fire and Cybill, and he also was a co-executive producer/writer on the long-running hit comedy Roseanne.