EXCLUSIVE: After seven seasons on House, series’ executive producers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend are moving on with an overall deal at 20th Century Fox TV. Under the two-year pact, the duo, which fielded interest from multiple studios before signing with 20th TV, will develop new projects while also working on existing studio shows.
This marks Lerner and Friend’s return to 20th TV where they worked on three series, FreakyLinks, Roswell and Boston Public, before moving to NBC Universal, which produces House. “We’ve been fans of Garrett and Russel for a long time,” said 20th TV chairman Dana Walden who noted that she and fellow chairman Gary Newman also pursued Lerner and Friend the previous time their NBC Universal deal was up but the two ended up re-upping because of their ties to House. “They’re very versatile, strong writers who spent a great deal of time focusing on writing and producing one of the best shows on television,” Walden added. “We think they can make meaningful contributions to our current series, and we are excited about their development.” Lerner and Friend have been among the key writer-producers alongside creator/executive producer David Shore on Fox’s medical drama House, which will end its eight-season run in May, carving a niche for themselves as the moral voices of the show. The two joined the series at the beginning of season 2 as co-executive producers and were upped to executive producers at the end of Season 3. WME-repped Lerner and Friend have been writing partners since 1995 after attending USC’s film school together.
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