Writer/director/producer John Ridley has signed a new five-year overall deal with ABC Studios. This is the longest-term pact for Ridley at the studio where he has been since 2014 with a two-year overall deal, followed by a three-year one.
The long-term agreement reflects the desire by TV studios to secure their talent amid a red-hot overall deal market, with a number of bidding wars over top-level creative talent going on right now.
Under the new deal, which is strictly for TV, Ridley will develop content across multiple platforms. He is currently working on a number of projects for broadcast, cable, and streaming.
“John Ridley has been making incredible content for us since his Emmy winning series, American Crime,” said Patrick Moran, President, ABC Studios. “There’s no one in the business like John who brings such incredible skill and creativity to everything he does. We are thrilled to have a new long-term deal with him and so look forward to what’s next from this visionary filmmaker.”
Ridley was the creator, writer, director, and executive producer of ABC Studios’ acclaimed series American Crime, which aired on ABC for three seasons and garnered multiple award nominations, earning co-star Regina King two Emmys His limited series Guerilla, produced by ABC Signature Studios, with Idris Elba, Freida Pinto, and Babou Ceesay, aired in 2017 on Showtime and Sky.
Ridley recently directed the first episode of the ABC Signature Studios-produced original series Godfather of Harlem, starring and executive produced by Forest Whitaker, which will premiere on Epix in November. His documentary about the Los Angeles uprising, Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992, premiered in theaters and aired on ABC in 2017 and is still available on Netflix.
“I’m so appreciative to ABC Studios, and the entire Disney company for this massive show of faith and support,” said Ridley. “My absolute best work has been with ABC Studios. Their commitment is substantial, and as the company grows I can’t imagine having a better home from which to reach the widest audience possible.”
Ridley won an Oscar in 2013 for writing 12 Years A Slave. He executive produced, wrote and directed the Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side. He is currently in post-production on the sci-fi romance feature film, Needle in a Timestack with Leslie Odom Jr., Freida Pinto, Cynthia Erivo, and Orlando Bloom.
In the fall of 2018 Ridley opened NO Studios, a collaborative space for the creation and appreciation of art, in his hometown of Milwaukee. He is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Rohner & Walerstein.