Director-producer Jake Kasdan and his producing partner Melvin Mar have signed a new four-year overall with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, the duo will continue to develop and produce and Kasdan will continue to direct projects for network, cable and streaming platforms through their company The Detective Agency.
Kasdan and Mar have been under an overall deal with the studio since 2012, shortly after the studio’s single-camera comedy New Girl, whose pilot was directed by Kasdan, became a breakout hit for Fox. Kasdan served as an executive producer for the well received comedy’s entire 146-episode run.
Kasdan and Mar serve as executive producers on three 20th TV series for new corporate sibling ABC, Fresh Off the Boat, which just crossed the 100 episode mark; Speechless, currently in its third season; and the upcoming Bless This Mess, which premieres in April.
Kasdan and Mar are in production on their first drama pilot for the studio, Heart of Life, also for ABC, based on John Mayer’s song, which was written by Ben Queen and is being directed by Anne Fletcher. They are also currently in production on a sequel to the hit feature Jumanji, which was directed by Kasdan.
“Jake and Melvin have been a dream team to this studio for years, and keeping them here was a huge priority for Howard [Kurtzman] and me,” 20th Century Fox TV president of Creative Affairs Jonnie Davis said. “They are smart, wildly talented guys with spectacular taste and incredible creative instincts. They love big swings and they elevate everything. They are also fun and collaborative creative partners-everyone wants to work with them. We wish we could clone them, but the fact is they are both so prolific we don’t need to.”
Kasdan and Mar, who called 20th TV “a fantastic and supportive place to work,” are repped by WME and attorneys John Sloss and Jacqueline Eckhouse.