Scott Rudin Inks First-Look Deal With Fox Networks Group’s Fox, FX & Nat Geo

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Producer Scott Rudin has closed a first-look deal with Fox Networks Group. Under the three-year pact, he will develop and produce projects for three networks: Fox through 20th Century Fox TV, FX through FX Prods, and National Geographic Channel through National Geographic Studios. Rudin will be bringing in an executive to oversee his TV efforts, and I hear Garrett Basch of Film Rites is in talks for the job.

The pact brings Rudin back into the Fox fold and reunites him with Fox Networks Group chairman Peter Rice, who I hear orchestrated the deal after pursuing a collaboration with Rudin for the last couple of years.

“Scott is an extraordinary creative producer and we are thrilled he is choosing to bring his unique passion for storytelling and storytellers to Fox’s unique portfolio of studios and channels,” Rice said.

While Rice was just starting his career at 20th Century Fox during Rudin’s brief tenure as the studio’s wunderkind twentyomething head of production, the two worked together later, when Rudin was a producer and Rice ran Fox Searchlight, with Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited among their joint projects. The two also are longtime friends.

“Peter Rice has been a close collaborator and great friend for years; I’ve had the luck of partnering with Peter on many projects — and I’ve never gone wrong following his lead,” Rudin said. “He’s put together an amazing team of executives at Fox, and I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity.”

In addition to being among the most successful and prolific feature and theater producers, Rudin has been a Hollywood firebrand, recently implicated in the Sony hacking scandal where leaked emails from him sparked controversy.

Rudin’s previous TV deal, an exclusive pact at HBO, ended before the end of its term. It yielded multiple pilots and two series: Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom and Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley. A first-look arrangement, where he is not tied to a network, is considered better suited for Rudin than an exclusive agreement.

As a theater producer, Rudin is coming off big wins for The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and Skylight at last night’s Tony Awards where they nabbed trophies for best play and best revival of a play, respectively. Curious Incident was one of the night’s top winners with a total of 5 Tonys. Rudin’s Broadway credits also include The Book Of Mormon and Fish In The Dark.

Rudin shared the 2007 Best Picture Oscar with Joel and Ethan Coen for the duo’s No Country for Old Men. Over the past four years, five of Rudin’s movies landed Best Picture nominations. He is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham.

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