EXCLUSIVE: One of the longest production relationships in the TV business is staying intact. Imagine Television has signed a new two-year deal with 20th Century Fox Television, where the company, overseen by Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer, has been for the past 14 years. During Imagine’s most recent pact with 20th TV, the partners successfully rebooted two of Imagine’s signature series: the Emmy-winning 24 and Arrested Development. A 24 follow-up, event series 24: Live Another Day, is slated to premiere on Fox in May, and a new season of Arrested Development was released on Netflix last year. And there may be more in store for both properties. Fox has indicated interest in making 24 an event franchise. Netflix had been in conversations with 20th TV, Imagine and Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz about more Arrested Development, and that now appears very likely, in the form of an original movie or another season.
Imagine TV has two series coming up: Fox’s Gang Related on Fox and Those Who Kill on A&E. (Imagine also produces NBC’s Parenthood though Universal.) Additionally, the company just landed a pilot order at Fox for hip-hop drama Empire, from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong, which is geared toward series under the network’s new development model. Imagine also has The Bastard Executioner, a pilot at FX written by Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. “They are such smart developers that consistently come up with great, big, bold ideas, like the reboot of Arrested Development,” 20th TV chairman Dana Walden said. “Brian and Ron are just naturally creative and curious people and always interesting in a meeting, taking the germ of an idea and turning it into something incredible.” Under the agreement, 20th TV is the exclusive home of Imagine TV for broadcast and cable. The company has been ramping up cable development lately, resulting in its first cable drama series, Those Who Kill, and its high-profile project with Sutter, about a 14th century executioner. Imagine’s television development is being shepherded by Francie Calfo, who has served as TV president since 2010.”It’s been a very strong relationship,” Grazer said. “Dana and Gary [Newman] are hugely creative, they have so many assets available to them and a very strong sense of quality.” Imagine TV is with CAA.