EXCLUSIVE: Apple has struck an exclusive first-look deal with Catastrophe and Divorce creator Sharon Horgan.
Deadline understands that the company inked the multi-year deal in London this morning and it covers all future projects Horgan writes. This comes after Horgan’s deal with Amazon came to an end.
The deal has been signed out of Apple’s UK division and was overseen by Jay Hunt, the former Channel 4 content chief who is creative director, Europe, Worldwide Video. Hunt first commissioned Catastrophe, the C4/Amazon comedy that Horgan and Rob Delaney wrote and starred in for four seasons. Hunt is part of the international content development team that reports to Apple video chiefs Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg.
It marks the first major talent deal to come out of Europe for Apple, which has been signing up overall deals with the likes of Roma’s Alfonso Cuarón, The Morning Show’s Kerry Ehrin Friday Night Lights’ Jason Katims and Fast & Furious’ Justin Lin.
The Apple contract is separate to the agreement that Comcast-backed Sky Studios struck earlier this month with Merman, Horgan’s production company with Clelia Mountford. The Sky deal was a two-year overhead and development funding and first-look distribution agreement, which will see NBCUniversal Global Distribution handle international sales on certain projects.
Horgan has had a busy year; in addition to Catastrophe ending, she landed a pilot order for Shining Vale, a half-hour horror comedy with Trial & Error co-creator Jeff Astrof, and an HBO Max pilot order for Deliah, a half-hour comedy starring Jessica Rothe (La La Land). Both of these projects have been set with Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, a frequent collaborator with Horgan.
Elsewhere, Amazon gave a script-to-series commitment to a comedy series that she will likely star in alongside Game Night co-star Billy Magnussen, and the SVOD service is developing Dirty, a morally complex drama in association with Peaky Blinders producer Caryn Mandabach Productions, Kapital Entertainment and Safe writer Danny Brocklehurst.
Horgan is also working on an animated comedy Therapy Dog for Fox and wrote and directed an episode of Amazon’s Modern Love for Tina Fey and John Slattery.
In features, she stars in the forthcoming Military Wives, alongside Kristin Scott Thomas, she is making her feature directorial debut on Focus Features’ drama New World and she is producing female drama Herself, set against the housing crisis, with The Favourite producer Element Pictures.
Horgan told Deadline in June that certain projects she is keen to write and direct, others she prefers to star in, then she can flex different muscles by producing through Merman. “Writing is something that’s with me all of the time. I’m always kind of writing. That’s in my DNA. But at the same time, the acting thing, if I go too without doing it, I do feel a bit crazy, it is a relief to go off and be someone else for a while and with the producing, I just find it very hard not to get excited about talented people and I want to work with them and make what they have in their heads.”
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