Netflix continues to lock in the producers behind its biggest series in lucrative overall deals. Following the pact with Orange Is the New Black and G.L.O.W.’s Jenji Kohan, the Internet network has inked an exclusive multi-year pact with Shawn Levy, executive producer of Netflix’s biggest series, Stranger Things.
As part of the deal, Levy has tapped veteran TV development executive and producer Josh Barry as President of his 21 Laps Television.
“Shawn and 21 Laps are courageous and adept storytellers who lean into risk both narratively and by nurturing great young talent,” said Cindy Holland, VP, Original Content for Netflix. ”They have an admirable track record for telling ambitious stories that have incredible heart and which resonate with audiences all over the world.”
Stranger Things, the Duffer brothers-created 1980s nostalgia horror series, burst into the scene in 2016. Its first season earned 18 Emmy nominations, with five wins. Levy, along with the Duffer Brothers, 21 Laps’ Dan Cohen and fellow executive producer Iain Paterson, earned the 2017 Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama in this year’s PGA Awards for Stranger Things, which recently was renewed for a third season.
“I don’t know any other company that would have taken a chance on a show about kids and inter-dimensional monsters, created by young unknown twin brothers and produced by a movie director’s production company. Netflix did, and they bet big, and it’s been truly thrilling to take this wild ride with such exceptional partners,” Levy said. “My aspiration for 21 Laps has always been to create content that is eclectic, bold, humanist and surprising. As such, Netflix is the perfect home for us and our collaborators.”
Barry most recently spent six years as the Head of Television and a Partner at The Firm and predecessor Prospect Park, spearheading development and production and executive producing three series. Salem for WGN America; Haters Back Off for Netflix; and Notorious for ABC.
He previously worked as a creative executive at the ABC Entertainment Group for ten years, working on such series as Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Alias, Pushing Daisies, Ugly Betty and Brothers & Sisters. That included a stint as SVP and Head of Drama and Current Programming at ABC Studios. Prior to that he worked at ABC and Touchstone TV.