Byron Balasco, creator and showrunner of DirecTV’s upcoming original series Kingdom, has inked an overall deal with Endemol Studios, the production company behind the MMA drama, ahead of Kingdom‘s October 8 premiere. This marks the first endemolstudioswriter-producer overall deal at Endemol North America’s scripted studio operation. Under the two-year pact, Balasco will continue to serve as executive producer and showrunner of Kingdom while developing and supervising new projects for the studio behind Hell On Wheels. “Byron is, quite simply, that writer-producer we all seek: his writing demonstrates a singular driven vision, distinctive in its ability to serve up a compelling story while delivering equal parts rich character-dimension, humor, and heart,” said Endemol Studios EVP Creative Affairs Jeremy Gold.

Endemol Studios CEO Philippe Maigret said he and his team knew they wanted to enter an exclusive agreement with Balasco just weeks into the production of Kingdom. “This first-of-its-kind deal for Endemol Studios underscores our commitment to aggressively pursue writers-producers looking to do their best work with a U.S. scripted studio that has a global footprint in over 30 countries and the resources to grow a brand internationally,” he said.

Kingdom, a 10-episode character-driven family drama series about a mixed martial arts gym in Venice, CA, stars Frank Grillo, Kiele Sanchez, Matt Lauria, Jonathan Tucker, Nick Jonas and Joanna Going.  Here is a trailer:

Balasco, whose series credits also include Detroit 1-8-7, Huff and Without A Trace, is with ICM Partners.