In a competitive situation with multipole studios bidding, top comedy creator-producer Michael Schur has opted to stay at his longtime home, Universal Television, with a massive new multi-year overall deal.
Keeping Emmy winner Schur, who is behind three NBC series as well as an NBC pilot, has been hugely important for NBCUniversal, and I hear the company’s top brass got involved in wooing him to stay. Noone would comment on the terms but I hear the deal is for five years and is worth in the neighborhood of $25 million a year.
Along with Chuck Lorre, Schur is the most prolific comedy creator-producer working in television with two established series, NBC’s The Good Place, which he created/exec produces, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which he co-created/exec produces, as well as the upcoming’s Abby’s and an NBC pilot starring Kal Penn, which he executive produces. Schur also co-created/executive produced another beloved comedy series, NBC’s Parks & Recreations and executive produced Netflix’s Master of None and co-executive produced The Office. All of the series he has done to date have garnered critical acclaim and awards recognition.
“There are very few people in this business who have been as instrumental to the success of both NBC and Universal Television as Mike Schur,” said George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy, Co-Chairmen, NBC Entertainment. “Mike is a comedy genius. His television resume is second to none and we couldn’t be more excited to see all of the projects he’ll be developing in the coming years ahead.”
In the current arms race for talent, there is a premium put on writer-producers like Schur who can originate and run simultaneously multiple series, which explains the interest in him from multiple places and the high price tag on his deal. For prolific creators/producers, incumbent studios often have the advantage of being able to sweeten their overall deal offers with advances toward the producers’ backend. I hear that was the case for Schur as well as the mega re-up Mr. Robot and Homecoming‘s Sam Esmail recently signed with UCP.
“Mike Schur’s imprint on NBCUniversal can’t be overstated and, as of today, remains uninterrupted,” said Pearlena Igbokwe, President, Universal Television. “I could not be more happy or proud.”
Schur is a homegrown NBCU talent. He began as a writer on Saturday Night Live in 1997 and spent seven seasons on the venerable late-night series, including three as producer of Weekend Update with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. He then joined The Office right after the pilot, quickly becoming a key creative auspice, rising to co-executive producer while also recurring as Mose Schrute, Dwight Schrute’s ghoulish, bearded, beet-farming cousin.
Schur went on to co-create Parks and Recreation and was executive producer for the show’s seven-season run on NBC, with both of his current series, The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, already renewed for next season. He has amassed 14 Emmy nominations to date, winning twice, as part of SNL‘s writing team in 2002 and sharing in The Office‘s 2006 best comedy trophy.
“I’m thrilled to be staying at NBC/Universal TV, my home since 1998,” said Schur. “First, because my creative partnership with Pearlena, George, Paul, Tracey Pakosta and Lisa Katz has provided me with all the support and freedom and guidance a writer and showrunner could ever ask for. And second, because there’s a ton of stuff in my office, just like boxes of papers and decorative candles and junk, and it would be super annoying to have to move it all.”
Schur is among a slew of A-list writer-producers who have been seeking overall deals in the past two months, sparking bidding wars among traditional studios and SVOD platforms that have sent prices through the roof.
His pact follows Esmail’s renewal at UCP and two comedy creators leaving their long-time studio homes for big new overall deals, Mindy Kaling, who moved from Uni TV to Warner Bros. TV, and Nahnatchka Khan who went from 20th Century Fox TV to Universal TV.
Schur is repped by UTA, 3 Arts Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.