Under the pact, the duo is being promoted to executive producers and co-showrunners alongside This Is Us creator/executive producer Dan Fogelman. The freshman family drama, whose season finale airs on March 14, already has been renewed for a second and a third season. Don Todd, who served as co-showrunner alongside Fogelman on Season 1, will be leaving the series.
This development season, Aptaker and Berger were recruited by 20th TV to develop and write How I Met Your Father, a new take on a spinoff from How I Met Your Mother from a female point of view. The two worked on a spec script but, in light of their increased responsibilities on This Is Us, the highest-rated new series of the season, that project is moving to the back burner.
Comedy writer-producers Aptaker and Berger emerged as key writer-producers on This Is Us in Season 1, penning multiple episodes, including the Thanksgiving one and the upcoming season finale, which they co-wrote with Fogelman. They also shared in the show’s WGA Award New Series nomination.
Aptaker and Berger got their first professional writing gig at 20th on the Fox show Friends With Benefits and spent two seasons working on Fogelman’s ABC comedy series The Neighbors. 20th TV signed the duo into an overall deal in summer 2015 when they joined the studio’s Fox comedy series Grandfathered as supervising producers, working again with Fogelman who was an exec producer and subsequently brought them over to This Is Us.
“Isaac and Elizabeth are incredible talents who write with such passion and emotion; their voices are bold and original and the contribution they’ve made to This Is Us this year has been extraordinary,” said 20th TV President of Creative Affairs Jonnie Davis. “They are hugely valuable to Dan and to everyone at this studio, and we are thrilled that they will showrun alongside him next season as well as remain in the studio family for years to come.”
Aptaker and Berger also were producers on Jason Katims’ About A Boy at NBC. On the feature side, they recently wrote Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Fox 2000’s upcoming coming-of-age pic based on Becky Albertelli’s debut novel, which is being directed by Greg Berlanti.
Aptaker and Berger have been writing as a team for more than nine years after they met at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Aptaker, who grew up outside Boston, amused himself as a 10-year-old by writing spec episodes for Boy Meets World and Berger, who grew up in Queens, began doling out advice to the head writer of Sesame Street (who happened to be her father) at a very young age. Aptaker and Berger are repped by Verve, Management 360 and Hansen Jacobson.