Simon Helberg has closed an exclusive two-year pod deal with Warner Bros Television, the studio behind his long-running CBS comedy hit The Big Bang Theory. Under the deal, Helberg and his wife, writer-director-actress Jocelyn Towne, will develop series for the studio via their new production banner, Wildline Entertainment.
Wildline has a half-hour comedy in development that Helberg will write for the studio. On the drama side, the duo closed a deal last week after a bidding war for Legacy Of Kings, which was just released Tuesday by Harlequin Teen Books, a subdivision of HarperCollins. The book is the first of the forthcoming Blood Of Gods And Royals YA epic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman.
Legacy Of Kings shares the untold story of a teenage Alexander the Great, before he was a conqueror, as he sets out on a quest to earn his father’s respect. Accompanied by a band of others driven by their own motivations, Alexander journeys to regain the Blood Magic — the only force capable of driving out an unspeakable evil that has taken root in the kingdom.
“It’s thrilling to meet these characters just as they are discovering their true identities,” said Towne. “We envision developing this as a historically rooted epic, but for a younger crowd.”
Helberg and Towne will produce via their Wildline Entertainment banner for WBTV alongside Lauren Oliver and Lexa Hillyer of Paper Lantern Lit, who packaged the book.
Under the pact, the duo has brought in Cora Olson to head development and supervise projects for the studio. Hailing from the indie film world, Olson has produced six features, including the Sundance hit Good Dick and Chris Denham’s thriller Preservation, which was released earlier this year. The three previously produced together when they made Towne’s debut feature I Am I.
Helberg, best known for his role as Howard Wolowitz on Big Bang, recently wrapped a starring role in Stephen Frears’ upcoming feature Florence Foster Jenkins opposite Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. Previously, Helberg wrote and co-directed the feature We’ll Never Have Paris alongside Towne.
“We grew up in an era when people watched television on something called a ‘television.’ Today there is more opportunity than ever to be personal and daring in TV, and we’re ecstatic to partner up with Warner Bros. to do just that,” said Helberg.
Helberg is repped by UTA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Myman Greenspan. Towne is with UTA. Paper Lantern Lit and Herman are repped by UTA on behalf of InkWell Management.