EXCLUSIVE: Seth MacFarlane is taking another major step in the ramp-up of his Fuzzy Door production company with the hire of veteran executive and producer Erica Huggins as President. Huggins is coming off a 14-year stint at Imagine Entertainment, the last five as President.
Huggins’ appointment comes two years after MacFarlane brought in the first high-level executive at Fuzzy Door, naming Jason Clark as President of Production and Business Development. Huggins will join Clark, who has been key to the company’s expansion over the last two years and serves as executive producer on The Orville and Cosmos series for Fox and The Long Road Home miniseries for National Geographic. Additional executives at Fuzzy Door include VP Alana Kleiman and Director of Development Rachel Hargreaves-Heald.
In her new role, Huggins will oversee development for all content including film, television, literature, music and digital.
“I’m excited to begin working with Erica as we embark on a new creative chapter in the life of this production company,” MacFarlane said. “She has demonstrated impeccable taste, an undeniable flair for artful, visionary leadership, and a strong, distinct point of view that is rare and essential in this competitive landscape. The level of experience she brings as we seek out and develop worthwhile projects is an asset to say the least. But what’s most important to me is that she shares my ambitions not only to entertain, but also to support creative visions that have something of substance to say in these unsettling times,” said MacFarlane.
As President of Imagine Entertainment, a position she was named to in December 2013, Huggings most recently worked under Imagine’s new independent model by incubating material in-house for all feature development and the company’s new feature animation division. She will use that experience to complement MacFarlane’s varied interests in science, drama, comedy, science fiction, politics and music in addition to his strong foothold in animation with the long-running series Family Guy and American Dad!
“Erica covered expansive creative ground in her time at Imagine,” said Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Chairmen of Imagine Entertainment. “Whatever the genre or budget range, her excellent taste, hard work and thoughtful leadership has always been additive. She doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations or ignore production challenges. Erica truly loves this business and makes it a pleasure for those she is collaborating with.”
During Huggins’ tenure at Imagine, she produced The Spy Who Dumped Me, Get On Up, The Dark Tower, served as Executive Producer on In the Heart of the Sea, Flightplan, J. Edgar, Katy Perry: Part of Me 3-D, Prophets Prey, and oversaw and managed Imagine’s slate of movies including Rush, American Made, Inferno as well as the Parenthood television series. Huggins first joined Imagine as SVP of Motion Pictures in 2004, working her way up the ranks to president.
Before that, Huggins worked as an EVP at Interscope Entertainment and Radar Pictures and began her career in entertainment as a film editor for John Waters and Michael Cimino. She helped create the Creative Media Institute with Ken Burns at Hampshire College and has served on the board of Big Sunday. She participates in mentorship programs for both the PGA and the Academy and continues to be active on panels and graduate program classrooms for UCLA, USC and Chapman University.
“Seth’s energy and creative genius is infectious and disarming,” Huggins said. “I am thrilled to be part of expanding on Fuzzy Door’s already diverse slate of TV and feature development as well as focusing in on the next wave of content. I am especially excited by the entrepreneurial mandate I’ve been given to be expansive and build a company that looks out towards the future. Finding unique voices and stories that are authentic and courageous, hilarious and outrageous, political and dramatic will all be part of our strategy to elevate storytelling in all formats.”
Huggins also acknowledged her long tenure at Imagine, thanking its principals Grazer and Howard. “Brian and Ron’s innovative thinking and generous partnership have left an indelible mark on my creative process,” she said.
The hire of Huggins comes as MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door mark the 20th anniversary of the launch of MacFarlane’s signature series Family Guy. The company is headed into the 15th season of American Dad!, the 2nd season of The Orville and the third Cosmos installment, Cosmos: Possible Worlds. On the feature film side, Fuzzy Door produced the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy, Ted, in addition to Ted 2 and A Million Ways to Die in the West.