UPDATED: J.J. Abrams is staying put at Warner Bros Television. The uber-writer-director-producer has closed a new three-year development and production deal with the TV studio, where Bad Robot Prods — which Abrams runs with long-time partner Bryan Burk — has been based since 2006. Back then, Abrams inked simultaneously two massive deals: a first-look pact with Paramount and a development/production deal with Warner Bros TV. In February, Abrams and Paramount extended their deal through end of 2015. Now the new pact with WBTV will keep him at the studio until 2015.
With his old deal coming up, I hear there was no question on Warner Bros’ or Abrams’ mind whether to continue the relationship. Like with any deals of that scope (the original deal reportedly guaranteed $4 million plus $2 million in overhead per year), it took time for terms to be negotiated. (UPDATE: We hear a major sticking point was the fact that the Bad Robot-produced CBS series Person of Interest is not available online.) But while talks were going on, it was business as usual on the development and production side, as evidenced by the pilot production commitment that Bad Robot and WBTV landed at Fox last night for a robot-cop drama written by Fringe showrunner J.H. Wyman. Under the extension, Bad Robot will continue developing new TV projects to be produced in association with Warner Bros Television, with Abrams and Burk serving as executive producers.
During its first term at WBTV, Bad Robot fielded a number of series and has three on the schedule for this coming season: the departing Fringe, newcomer Revolution and rising sophomore Person Of Interest.
It has been a busy summer of gigantic production deal-making at WBTV, which just closed a new pact with comedy heavyweight Chuck Lorre. The two join a roster of long-time WBTV producers such as Jerry Bruckheimer and John Wells. Abrams is repped by attorney Jim Jackoway and manager David Lonner.