New Girl creator Liz Meriwether has signed a rich four-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, she will continue to work on her current series for the Disney-owned studio and will develop new ones.
No one would comment but I hear the pact is in the high-eight figures. Meriwether’s previous overall pact with 20th TV expired last year. Because of the uncertainty surrounding her longtime studio home at the time, with both Disney and Comcast bidding for the 21st Century Fox assets 20th TV was was part of, Meriwether opted for one-year extension. It proved to be a very wise decision as the overall deal prices for top talent have gone up significantly this year in a very competitive marketplace.
Meriwether is in the category of most sought after showrunners. She has created a successful series in New Girl and has proven that she can successfully juggle multiple series. She currently executive produces two comedy series and a promising pilot for 20th TV, all at new corporate sibling ABC – midseason series Bless This Mess starring Lake Bell, which Meriwether co-created with Bell, freshman Single Parents, created by JJ Philbin and pilot Woman Up from Zoe Lister-Jones.
“Peter Rice, Howard Kurtzman, Jonnie Davis, and Dana Walden have been my creative partners since I was a receptionist living in New York writing a script called Sluts,” Meriwether said. “I’m so grateful and thrilled to be able to keep making television at my home studio, which now, I’m hoping, also comes with tickets to Disneyland.”
This is the seventh major overall deal announced by 20th TV in the four weeks since the Disney acquisition went through, joining pacts/reups for Drew Goddard, Jason Winer, Octavia Spencer, Nora Smith, Jake Kasdan & Melvin Mar, and Marlene I. King.
“Twelve years ago, when we first met, Liz was a wildly funny and talented playwright from New York, who was so dedicated to getting the characters and humor in her scripts exactly right, she’d often pull all nighters and sleep in her office,” said Dana Walden, Chairman of Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment. “We’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow into a confident, formidable and successful show runner, who’s currently overseeing three shows, a slate of development and, thankfully, sleeping in her house. She’s outrageously funny, endlessly creative, wildly prolific and also one of the greatest people you’ll ever have the good fortune to know. Craig, Jonnie, Howard and I have made it our mission to keep her here and we’re so glad she said yes.”
Meriwether created, wrote and executive produced all seven seasons of Fox’s New Girl, which has been one of 20th TV’s most successful comedy series of the past decade with a lucrative SVOD deal. Her deal was negotiated by WME.