EXCLUSIVE: Prolific writing-producing duo Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit have signed a multi-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the pact, Hernandez and Samit will develop, write and produce animated and live-action series for network, cable and streaming platforms.
The deal brings Hernandez and Samit back to where their career began in 2013, on 20th TV-produced 1600 Penn.
“Dan and Benji are rising stars whom we’ve wanted to work with for years on the animation side, so the fact that they are making 20th their exclusive home is really exciting,” said Marci Proietto, EVP of Animation, 20th TV. “We love their enthusiasm, their creativity, their material and the fact that they immediately saw the potential to produce for so many different platforms under the Disney umbrella. They’ll start by reuniting with Josh Gad on Central Park as well as continue to develop projects of their own both in animation and live action. We think this is the beginning of a long career for them at this studio.”
The pair are coming off the success of Legendary/Warner Bros.’ Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, which they-co-wrote and received story credit. The writing duo adapted the cult favorite video game for the big screen, in what would become the best reviewed and best opening video game movie ever. The film, which blended live-action and animation, brought in $58 million its opening weekend and has gone on to earn over $410 million at the worldwide box office.
On the television side, Hernandez and Samit most recently served as writers and co-executive producers for the critically-acclaimed One Day At A Time, a reimagining of the classic 1970s sitcom from Norman Lear on Netflix. Prior to that, the duo were consulting producers and writers for Amazon’s The Tick. Their past writing credits include series such as ABC’s Super Fun Night and 20th TV-produced 1600 Penn for NBC where they first met and worked with Josh Gad, whom they will again team up with on his upcoming Central Park for Apple with Loren Bouchard. Hernandez and Samit met and began writing together while completing their undergrad at Brown University, and have been writing-producing partners since.
“It’s incredibly exciting to be joining Jonnie Davis, Marci Proietto, and the entire 20th team, and we cannot wait to see what we create together, said Hernandez and Samit. We’re especially thrilled to return to where it all began for us. Our first job was on a 20th show, and after seven years, we are finally allowed back on the lot.”
Hernandez and Samit are repped by 3 Arts and Jackoway Tyerman.