EXCLUSIVE: Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment has inked an exclusive pod deal with Universal Cable Prods. This marks the first overall TV deal for Valhalla, which will develop and produce projects for both cable and broadcast networks, including UCP’s NBCUniversal siblings USA and Syfy. The agreement builds on the success Valhalla has had with its first primetime series, AMC’s smash The Walking Dead, which Hurd executive produces. Under the deal, Hurd and her executives will work with UCP’s development team — SVPs Richard Rothstein, Chris Sanagustin and Maira Suro — who oversee the studio’s development for USA, Syfy and external networks, respectively. The trio noted that Valhalla “shares our creative commitment, passion for great stories and desire to produce efficiently.” Hurd, who has not worked with USA and Syfy, pointed to UCP’s decision last year to expand into producing for broadcast in addition to cable. “We have double the opportunity to create a diverse slate of projects,” she said.
The deal covers new Valhalla development that will be done with UCP. It is unclear if UCP will join projects Valhalla already has set up. Among them is Port Royal, a period pirate drama based on an idea by Hurd that is in development at FX, with Valhalla co-producing alongside Graham King’s GK-tv, FX Prods and Fox International Channels. UCP has been selective in its pod deals. Valhalla is only the third production company to be signed by the studio, along with Tagline, which produces the long-running USA dramedy Psych; and Hypnotic, which is behind three UPC series, dramas Covert Affairs and Suits for USA and comedy I Just Want My Pants Back for MTV. Hurd’s feature producing credits include the Terminator and the Hulk franchises.
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