On the heels of New Amsterdam landing a massive three-season renewal by NBC, the studio behind the medical drama, Universal Television, has signed creator/executive producer David Schulner into a big new four-year deal.
Under the pact, believed to be in the eight-figure range, Schulner will continue as executive producer/showrunner on New Amsterdam, now in its second season on NBC. He also will develop, write and executive produce programming targeting network, cable and streaming platforms for Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios.
Schulner has been under a string of overall deals with Universal TV since 2010.
“David is a versatile writer and showrunner who has proven himself adept in multiple genres,” said Universal TV President Pearlena Igbokwe: “His very clear vision and leadership has been critical to the breakout success of ‘New Amsterdam’ around the world. I’m grateful that we get to continue this decade-long relationship.”
Schulner started his TV career on Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz’s Once and Again and wrote for shows such as Desperate Housewives, Everwood, and Tell Me You Love Me early on.
He burst onto the TV scene in 2007 with his high-concept spec The Oaks, which sparked a bidding frenzy, ultimately landing at Fox with a series commitment and a seven-figure penalty. But the project, about the intertwined stories of three families living in the same house during different periods, became a victim of the writers strike, with neither Schulner nor Shawn Ryan, who came on board as showrunner, able to attend the pilot shoot which started on the first day of the strike.
Schulner began his tenure at Universal TV (them UMS) with stints as co-executive producer on drama series Kings and Trauma, leading to his first overall deal with the studio in 2010. He worked as a co-executive producer on The Event and created and executive produced Jekyll & Hyde-esque medical drama series Do No Harm starring Steven Pasquale, which ran for one season on NBC.He also served as executive producer/showrunner on the NBC/Uni TV fantasy drama Emerald City and worked on Ironside and Reverie.
“I started my career as a playwright and my dream was to be part of a theater company; working with the same people on different projects, growing and honing our skills together. I never thought I’d find such a place in television. I was wrong. Universal has been my home for 10 years and I’m thrilled I get to stay a little longer,” Schulner said.
So far this season New Amsterdam is averaging a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 9.8 million viewers overall in Live+7, ranking as the No.5 scripted series on NBC behind This Is Us and the Chicago series. The medical drama starring Ryan Eggold is adding 4.6 million viewers between Live+Same Day and Live+7, the third biggest lift on broadcast television and second biggest for an NBC series behind This Is Us.
When digital viewing is included along with linear, New Amsterdam ranks as NBC’s second highest rated drama in Live+7 and Live+35 behind This Is Us.
Digital performance is increasingly important for NBC, especially for series owned by NBCUniversal, which New Amsterdam is. The network is helping to create potential valuable streaming assets for the company that could be exploited for years after the end of their broadcast run.
Since the show’s premiere in the U.S., New Amsterdam has been sold in more than 200 territories around the world and has aired in the U.K. (Amazon Prime Video, Channel 4), France (TF1), Germany (RTL), Italy (Mediaset), Africa (M-Net), Latin America (Fox) and Canada (Global), among others.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.