Imagine Television has signed a premium script deal with Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. Under the pact, indie Imagine TV will develop and produce Cherry’s next TV series. The deal was competitive as Cherry met with a number of studios before opting to go with the Brian Grazer- and Ron Howard-founded Imagine. It reunites Cherry with Imagine TV president Francie Calfo who, as an executive at then-Touchstone TV and ABC, worked with Cherry and was a champion of Desperate Housewives.
The commitment is blind for a series that could be for network, cable or streaming. Cherry is developing the pitch, which is expected to be in his wheelhouse, staying close to the Desperate Housewives brand of shows where he has been most successful.
“Marc is a genius at uncovering the extraordinary from the everyday,” Imagine Entertainment chairman Grazer said. “His worlds are familiar and rich with character and story. We are so excited he is developing his new project with Imagine.”
Grazer added that Cherry has “the much-coveted powers that are everything you would want: He has an original voice and he can personally execute; he comes up with original sexy ideas, and he can write ever word.”
Cherry will develop his new show alongside his new producing partners Michael Hanel and Mindy Schultheis, who will produce it with Cherry, Grazer and Calfo. Cherry teamed up with Hanel and Schultheis after they executive produced together ABC’s Cherry/Reba McEntire pilot this past season. For the past 12 years, Cherry had been partnered with Sabrina Wind, who recently joined Jason T. Reed Productions.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, two men I’ve idolized my entire career, and especially thrilled to be working with my old friend Francie Calfo, who is one of the smartest people I know,” said Cherry.
Imagine Entertainment went independent last year when it secured a $100M investment from Raine Group. Imagine Television recently entered into a TV co-financing venture with Hong Kong based TVB Ventures, with TVB Ventures investing $100 million to develop and produce TV projects. Additionally, Imagine TV recently signed a co-financing and first-look agreement with CBS Corporation for scripted and unscripted series.
“I was fortunate enough to be there for Marc’s first groundbreaking TV series, and I’m thrilled to reunite as Imagine ramps up development efforts to deliver multiple series across broadcast cable and as SVOD,” Calfo said.
As it ramps up its talent roster, Imagine Television also recently inked a two-year first-look deal with Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind writer Akiva Goldsman. The company, which is behind such shows as Empire, 24 and Genius, is working on developing close-ended procedural dramas as well as sexy, soapy serialized series in the vein of Empire.
Jon Moonves and Paradigm pit the deal was put together on behalf of Cherry.