Peter Chernin’s rich five-year TV deal with 20th Century Fox Television is coming to an end next month, and there are no current renewal plans. I hear the former News Corp. president is seriously considering taking the TV company independent when the pact is up. He is not pursuing a deal with another TV studio or talking to 20th TV about a new pact at the moment.
While a last-minute renewal at Fox is considered a possibility given Chernin’s long and deep ties at the company, something he recently did on the feature side, an indie route appears more likely as it provides flexibility to sell everywhere, and a new Fox pact would likely not be able to match the rare terms of the original. Additionally, Chernin has been an early adopter of multi-platform strategy and being independent would allow the company to provide content for different types of emerging platforms. Chernin has been very active in Silicon Valley, and his company’s digital investments include YouTube multi-channel network’s Fullscreen, Twitter and Pandora.
Under the current five-year TV deal with Fox/20th TV, the Chernin Co. had multiple series commitments at Fox. Run by Katherine Pope, the TV division fielded one series that has gone to syndication, Fox comedy New Girl. Only one other series, drama Breakout Kings, ran for more than one season. Given the fluid situation, the future of the Chernin Co.’s TV staff is unclear.