EXCLUSIVE: After a 16-year run as a TV literary agent at UTA, James Degus is leaving the agency to join client Bryan Cranston‘s recently launched production company Moon Shot Entertainment. Degus will serve as president of Moon Shot Entertainment, which has a two-year first-look development deal at Sony Pictures TV, the studio behind Cranston’s AMC series Breaking Bad. Degus will be responsible for ramping up and overseeing Moon Shot’s development and production slate in drama and comedy for both broadcast and cable. Emmy-winning actor Cranston is making his first official foray into TV producing with Moon Shot, which set up shot at Sony TV in June. “James brings a passion for finding great material and a determination that is infectious,” Cranston said. “He will make an excellent partner at Moon Shot.”
Degus began his career in UTA’s Agent Training Program, starting in the mailroom in 1994. He was promoted to agent in 1997. Degus’ clients will stay with UTA. “James is a great guy, a great agent and has been an integral part for UTA for many years,” UTA managing director Jay Sures said. “We’re sad he’s leaving but truly excited for him at this opportunity to join Bryan in building something special.”
Cranston has won three Emmys for his starring turn as Walter White on Breaking Bad and recently received his fifth consecutive nomination for the role. Breaking Bad, on which Cranston also serves as a producer, begins its final run this Sunday with an episode directed by Cranston. Cranston has directed episodes of Breaking Bad, The Office and Malcolm In The Middle and received a DGA nomination last year for helming an episode of Modern Family. There have been a number of TV lit agents who departed over the past year to run their clients companies, including ICM Partners’ Bob Broder (Chuck Lorre) and Emile Gladstone (Chris Morgan) and UTA’s Elise Henderson (Nicholas Sparks).