Stephen Nathan, Bones‘ executive producer and creator/exec producer Hart Hanson’s right-hand man, has signed a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the long-running Fox dramedy. The two-year pact (with an option for a third) keeps Nathan on Bones as the second-in-command to showrunner Hanson. Additionally, Nathan will have the ability to develop new projects for the studio.

Nathan has been on Bones since Day 1 — he was recruited by Hanson to join the show after its pilot episode in 2005. “Stephen and Hart have had such an incredible creative partnership, and Stephen is somebody Hart has relied on in a huge way,” 20th TV chairman Dana Walden said. “Last season, Stephen demonstrated why he is so valuable as he enabled Hart to focus on (Bones spinoff) The Finder as he took on greater responsibilities on Bones and did an amazing job.”

Nathan started off as an actor and he originated the role of Jesus in the hit musical Godspell before segueing to writing-producing. He spent 20-years in comedy writing before moving to drama, and that background has helped him excel on a series like Bones, which mixes drama and humor, Walden said. Nathan has produced over 400 episodes of television, working on such shows as Laverne & Shirley, Everybody Loves Raymond, Joan Of Arcadia and Family Law, on which he served for three years as executive producer with David Shore. He created the series Double Rush with Diane English.