After spending the last seven years focused solely on features, comedy writers-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are returning to television with a three-year pod deal at 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, made in a competitive situation, the duo, who have background in both live-action and animated comedy, will develop live action and animation series for network and cable under their Lord Miller banner. They will write and direct their own projects and also supervise other writers. With the deal, Lord and Miller are picking up where they left off in TV, reuniting with the studio where they were based just before leaving for features, working on 20th TV series How I Met Your Mother and Jake In Progress and pilots Awesometown, untitled Phil Hendrie, and Luis. “They’ve really grown up,” 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. “We used to think of them as young guys with wildly inventive ideas. They still have wild ideas but now they also have the experience, maturity and relationships to find ways to have them mounted.”
The overall deal with 20th TV follows a pilot-directing gig for Lord and Miller this season. The two helmed Fox/Universal TV’s Andy Samberg cop comedy, which appears a lock for a series order. On the feature side, Lord and Miller, who have been a team since meeting at Dartmouth College, directed 21 Jump Street and the animated Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, which they also co-wrote. While developing and producing for 20th TV, the duo will remain active in features where they have Lego: The Piece Of Resistance out next year for Warner Bros. “We couldn’t be more excited to return to 20th Television and work with Dana (Walden) and Gary who have shown excellent taste ever since they hired us 10 years ago,” Miller and Lord said. “We were also really impressed by the studio’s proximity to Chris’ house and the pretzel-bread in the commissary.” In TV, Lord and Miller, repped by UTA and Matthew Johnson and Sam Fischer, also co-created the MTV animated series Clone High.