David Katzenberg & Seth Grahame-Smith (It) have signed a two-year pod deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, the duo will develop comedy, drama and animation series projects for broadcast, cable and streaming networks via their KatzSmith Productions.
Working with them will be Aaron Schmidt, whom the duo recently brought in as SVP of Development at KatzSmith.
“David and Seth are an undeniable creative force, and have incredible ideas for comedy, drama and animation projects,” said Jonnie Davis, 20th Century Fox TV president of creative affairs. “We’re excited to bring their unique hybrid of directing, writing and producing to the studio.”
Katzenberg, who started in reality TV, and Grahame-Smith created and executive produced MTV’s cult 2012 comedy The Hard Times Of RJ Berger. After that, the duo largely followed different career paths, with Katzenberg focusing on TV directing (he served as executive producer/director on ABC’s The Goldbergs and also helmed multiple episodes of HBO’s Ballers) and Grahame-Smith writing features such as Dark Shadows, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The LEGO Batman Movie. The two re-teamed a couple of years ago to produce feature projects, including the upcoming It, based on Stephen King’s novel, for Warner Bros., as well as a Beetlejuice sequel with Tim Burton directing at Warner Bros. and a feature version of Kung Fury, both now in development.
“We have huge respect for Gary (Newman), Dana (Walden), Jonnie, Howard (Kurtzman) and everyone on their team,” Katzenberg and Grahame-Smith said. “They have great taste, and we’re determined to win for them. Embarking on a TV deal at Fox also fits our corporate philosophy, which is: do everything Lord and Miller did four years ago.”
This is a reference to Phil Lord and Chris Miller, another team that started in television before making a splash in features with the 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie franchises who also re-entered TV with a pod deal at 20th TV in 2013.
Katzenberg and Grahame-Smith are repped by WME