Emmy and Peabody Award-winning television creator/showrunner Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) is leaving his long-time studio home at Universal Television for a rich multi-year pact with Apple.
Under the exclusive overall production and development deal, which will start in the summer when Katims’ current Uni TV deal comes to an end, he will develop and executive new series through his company, True Jack Prods.
Apple, along with Netflix and Amazon, have been aggressive in pursuing top showrunner talent with big overall deals.
Katims had been at Universal TV for more than a dozen years, executive producing/showrunning Friday Night Lights and developing, executive producing and showrunning another praised drama series, Parenthood.
In 2012, Katims turned his True Jack Prods. into a pod based at Universal TV and brought in Michelle Lee as head of television. For the following four years, True Jack generated five TV series, About a Boy and Rise at NBC and Pure Genius at CBS — all created by Katims, The Path at Hulu and the upcoming Away at Netflix.
Katims will now reunite with Lee who left a year ago to join Apple’s creative development team, led by Matt Cherniss. He will be joined at Apple by True Jack head of development Jeni Mulein. In addition to Away, Katims will continue to work with Uni TV on Sisters, a drama, which has a put pilot commitment at Fox. I hear the project, written/executive produced by The Path co-executive producer Annie Weisman and exec produced by Katims and Mulein, has been heating up for a possible pilot order.
At Apple, he also joins another former close associate, writer-producer Kerry Ehrin, who also has an overall deal there. She previously worked closely with Katims on Friday Night Lights and Parenthood.
Katims is repped by CAA and attorney Ira Schreck.