In 2009, CBS Television Studios made a bet on an up-and-coming TV writer, Jennie Snyder Urman, who had staffed on a couple of shows. The bet paid off for both sides, with Urman becoming one of the most prolific showrunners on the studio roster, generating multiple series, the award-winning Jane the Virgin, the ongoing Charmed reboot, the underrated Emily Owens, MD and the upcoming Broke.
Now she has re-upped her overall deal with CBS TV Studios through 2025. The massive five-year pact is said to be one of the biggest at CBS TV Studios and well into the eight figures.
Under the new production agreement, Urman will continue to create and develop series for CBS TV Studios through Sutton Street Productions, the company she launched more than two years ago with longtime friend and veteran TV executive Joanna Klein.
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Among Sutton Street’s first projects was a multi-camera comedy at CBS from writer Alex Herschlag starring Jane the Virgin‘s Jaime Camil. It became a series, Broke, which premieres April 2. Since its launch, Sutton Street has sold multiple projects across broadcast, cable and streaming including CBS, The CW, Netflix, HBO Max, CBS All Access, Quibi, Peacock and Lifetime. The company recently promoted Tara Joshi to development executive.
Urman began her career in half-hour comedy, spending three years on ABC’s Hope and Faith, before transitioning to hourlong series with stints on Gilmore Girls, Men In Trees and Lipstick Jungle. Urman was at a supervising producer level when she was recruited by CBS TV Studios in 2009 to join the writing staff of 90210. She rose through the ranks to co-executive producer on the CW series and soon created her first pilot for the studio, the 2011 Danni Lowinski, based on a German format, for the CW. Her next pilot, medical drama Emily Owens, M.D., went to series at the CW, as did Jane the Virgin, which ran for five seasons on the CW, and Charmed, recently renewed for a third season by the network.
“Jennie’s singular storytelling moves effortlessly between comedy and drama with sensitivity and humanity. Couple that with her innate ability to move a project from concept to creation, and it places her among the most respected and coveted producers working in our medium,” said CBS TV Studios president David Stapf. “Additionally, Jennie and Joanna have incredible vision and taste, resulting in one of the most fruitful partnerships in television…one we hope continues to flourish for us for years to come.”
Urman has been under a string of overall deals at CBS TV Studios since 2012. During her tenure, she also served as consulting producer on Reign and shepherded two other projects that went to pilot, comedy Sober Companion at Fox and a Jane the Virgin spinoff at CW.
“I feel incredibly lucky that I get to continue to work with CBS Studios, which has been my home for the past decade. David Stapf is the best creative partner out there and it has been a privilege and a pleasure to get to work with him and his amazing team, led by Bryan Seabury in drama, Kate Adler in comedy, and Amy Reisenbach in current,” said Urman. “They are all so passionate and steadfast in their creative support and in their determination to find the right home for each project, and Joanna and I couldn’t be more excited (and inspired!) to create shows with them for many more years.”
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