Warren Littlefield Inks Pod Deal at Fox 21 TV Studios, 20th Century Fox TV

Read on: Variety.

Warren Littlefield and The Littlefield company have signed an exclusive pod deal with Fox 21 Television Studios and Twentieth Century Fox Television. Under the deal, Littlefield and his producing team of Ann Johnson and Graham Littlefield to produce ne…

‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Producer Warren Littlefield Signs New Pod Deal With Fox TV

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Warren Littlefield is staying in business with Fox TV, amid Disney’s pending purchase of the studio.
The “Handmaid’s Tale” producer and former TV exec has signed a new, exclusive overall deal with Fox 21 Television Studios and 2…

‘Dopesick’: Beth Macy Book About America’s Opioid Crisis In The Works For TV From Warren Littlefield & Fox 21

Read on: Deadline.

After a competitive bidding, Fox 21 Television Studios and Warren Littlefield’s The Littlefield Company have optioned Beth Macy’s new book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, about America’s opioid …

‘Dopesick’: Fox 21, ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Producer Option Rights to Opioid Crisis Best-Seller

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The American opioid crisis is jumping from a real-life problem to a show on the small screen.

After a highly competitive bidding war, Fox 21 Television Studios and “Handmaid’s Tale” producer Warren Littlefield’s The Littlefield Company announced Friday they have optioned the rights to adapt best-selling author Beth Macy’s “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America” into a TV series.

Littlefield and Macy will serve as executive producers on the project, with Peter McGuigan and Richie Kern producing.

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“Every once in a while, you come across a piece of material that is that rare diamond in that it’s an incredibly arresting story, and, even more, is timely and important,” Bert Salke, President, Fox 21 Television Studios said. “Beth’s dissection and thoughtful emotion in detailing the opioid crisis that now plagues our country, is as compelling a story as I have seen. Warren and Fox 21 are truly excited to build the perfect team, beginning with identifying the perfect writer to bring this series to life. It’s a huge priority.”

Littlefield, who also executive produces “Fargo” at FX and has the pilot “Reprisal” in the works at Hulu, added: “Beth has written a book that holds up a mirror to where America is right now and why. Through deeply emotional true stories and an understanding of the systems that failed us, Beth has painted a powerful and important portrait of our country. Until America better understands the issue it will remain a place where getting addicted is much easier than securing addiction treatment. Television can shine a klieg light on this. We look forward to working closely with Beth and our Fox 21 partners to bring this property to life on television.”

“I write it the only way I know how – by witnessing the epidemic’s landing in three Virginia communities over two decades and getting to know the people on the front lines,” Macy said, “From distressed small communities in central Appalachia to wealthy suburbs, from disparate cities to once idyllic farm towns, it’s a heartbreaking trajectory that explains how the national crisis became so entrenched. This book illuminates the persistent and often conflicting gaps in the treatment and criminal-justice landscapes while shining a hopeful light on the heroes battling the worst drug epidemic in American history.”

Also Read: Ann Dowd: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Aunt Lydia Would Make ‘Mincemeat’ Out of Sarah Sanders (Video)

“Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America,” was published by Little, Brown and Company and is currently No. 5 on the New York Times Best Seller list for Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction.

Macy’s best-sellers include “Truevine” and “Factory Man.” She is based in Rhode Island, Virginia,  and has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard, for her reporting.

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‘Vampyr’ Video Game Optioned For Series Development By Fox 21 TV Studios & McG’s Wonderland

Read on: Deadline.

In a competitive situation, Fox 21 Television Studios has optioned the rights to video game Vampyr to develop as a series with McG’s Wonderland Sound & Vision and DJ2 Entertainment.
Set in 1918 London, Vampyr revolves around a morally righteo…

Joseph C. Wilson Inks Overall Deal With Fox 21 TV Studios; Joins ‘The Chi’ Season 2 As Co-EP

Read on: Deadline.

Writer-producer Joseph C. Wilson has signed an overall deal with Fox 21 Television Studios. Under the pact, he’ll serve as a co-executive producer on the second season of Showtime’s drama series The Chi, produced by Fox 21.
“We are thrilled to ha…

Fox 21 Television Studios Promotes Nissa Diederich to Run Production

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Fox 21 Television Studios has promoted production executive Nissa Diederich to Executive Vice President of Production.

President of Production Bert Salke, who Diederich will report to, announced her expanded role Tuesday, which will include oversight of all production matters on series including “American Crime Story,” “Homeland,” Queen of the South,” “Genius” and “The Chi,” as well as the upcoming “Pose,” “Mayans, “The Politician” and “Ratched.”

She will also continue to helm productions of 20th Century Fox TV’s Ryan Murphy series “American Horror Story” and “9-1-1.”

Also Read: Ryan Murphy’s ‘Pose’: FX Drops a Trailer, and a Release Date (Video)

The new VP will work closely with the studio’s showrunners on securing stages and locations, hiring crew, managing budgets and supervising projects from pre- to postproduction.

“Nissa has overseen some incredibly ambitious productions, from seasons of ‘Homeland’ overseas in South Africa and Berlin and ‘Genius’ in Budapest, to the multiple series of the prolific Ryan Murphy, and she is beloved by creators and executives alike,” Salke said. “She has been enormously helpful to Mark Pearson and me as we’ve grown the Fox 21 TVS business, and we consider ourselves fortunate to have such a seasoned pro in this vital role.”

Also Read: ‘American Horror Story’ Season 8: Here’s Everything We Know Right Now

Below is Diederich’s full bio, per Fox 21 Television Studios:

Diederich joined the former Fox Television Studios twenty years ago as a Manager of Production Finance, rising through the ranks to oversee all aspects of production finance for primetime network, cable, international and alternative television production for FOX Television Studios, Fox World Productions, Regency Television and The Greenblatt Janollari Studio. Most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Production at both Fox 21 Television Studios and 20th Century Fox Television before that, Diederich oversaw the productions of Ryan Murphy’s “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” and Feud,” Kurt Sutter’s “Sons of Anarchy” and upcoming “Mayans,” and Alex Gansa’s “Homeland.”

Diederich is a graduate of University of Southern California with a BS in Communications & Social Sciences.

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‘Genius’: Mary Shelley, ‘Frankenstein’ Author, Will Be Nat Geo Show’s First Female Genius (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Brilliant: Nat Geo just unveiled the subject for its third season of “Genius,” Mary Shelley.

The first woman genius to be chronicled by the cable channel’s scripted anthology series basically invented the science fiction and horror genres when she created Frankenstein (yes, and his monster). Shelley’s season will again be executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, MWM Studios and EUE/Sokolow.

The series hails from Fox 21 Television Studios.

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Showrunner, executive producer and writer Ken Biller will continue his role overseeing the new season, per Nat Geo. In addition to he, Grazer and Howard, Francie Calfo, Gigi Pritzker, Rachel Shane, Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney are also executive producers. Anna Culp is producer.

Filming on “Genius 3” is expected to begin later this year.

“Genius: Picasso” premieres on Tuesday, by the way. The first season followed Albert Einstein’s exploits, and brought a whole bunch of awards and eyeballs to National Geographic.

Also Read: Katie Couric Says Nat Geo Docuseries Goes Further Than Mainstream Media: ‘These Conversations Aren’t Happening’ (Video)

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein left an indelible mark on generations of imaginations,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president, global development and production for National Geographic Global Networks. “Equally inspiring is the story of Shelley’s relentless innovation, coupled with her desire to live on her own unconventional terms despite immense societal and cultural obstacles. I can’t wait for our talented team to bring her remarkable, relevant and timely story to life for season three of ‘Genius’ and do justice to her literary legacy.”

“Mary Shelley has inspired countless filmmakers with her tale of the wretch brought to life by science gone wrong, but very few have fully captured her insightful reflections on society in the myth she left behind,” added Howard. “Few know of her struggles due to gender inequities, her additional writings, her influence on other historically significant individuals and society at large. Showcasing someone like Mary Shelley and her amazing intellect, compassion and fortitude is exactly what this series is for, and we are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership with National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios.”

“Our experience with Courteney, Carolyn and the Nat Geo team has been phenomenal, and our award-winning first season exceeded even our own high expectations,” said Bert Salke, president of Fox 21 Television Studios. “Audiences are in for a treat with our follow-up, featuring a transformative performance by Antonio Banderas as our Picasso, and a compelling story created by Ken Biller. The choice of Mary Shelley as the subject of our third season speaks to the incredible depth of the franchise. How fitting at this moment in time to pivot to one of the many female geniuses in human history, and Mary’s story is both stranger than fiction and incredibly dramatic. We can’t wait to get started.”

Also Read: ‘Hidden Figures’ TV Series in the Works at Nat Geo

Here is Nat Geo’s kickass bio on Shelley:

A brilliant thinker, radical intellectual and proto-feminist, Mary Shelley (1797-1851) brought to life one of the most enduring stories of the modern age while still a teenager. “Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus” is a cautionary tale of unchecked scientific ambition and a sophisticated meditation on social institutions, personal freedom and compassion that has captured imaginations and continues to be relevant since it was first published 200 years ago. Shelley masterfully invented the Science Fiction/Horror genre with her tale of a creature brought to life, subsequently going on to create the Post-Apocalyptic genre with her later novel, “The Last Man.”

An intellectual prodigy who was inspired from an early age by the writing of her unconventional mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, Shelley was determined to prove that women were the intellectual and creative equals of men. One of few women to support herself as an author during the early 18th century, Shelley wrote short stories, reviews, travelogues, and made prolific contributions to the world’s first encyclopedia, she also wrote six novels.  Shelley’s inner circle included countless literary and scientific luminaries of the day, including Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary and Charles Lamb, Humphry Davy and Leigh Hunt.

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Shelley met the love of her life, Romantic poet, amateur scientist and still-married Percy Bysshe Shelley, at the age of 16. After losing her virginity to Shelley at her mother’s gravesite, the pair eloped and were cast out by her father, the radical intellectual William Godwin. Shelley was to endure a lifetime of tragic misfortune, watching three of her four children die, losing multiple friends and family members to suicide, and outliving her husband, who drowned at sea. In true gothic style, Shelley elected to keep her late husband’s heart after his death

Shelley’s writing was heavily influenced by the great scientific innovation and experimentation of the early 19th century. Scientists like Luigi Galvani, Giovanni Aldini and Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles, figured prominently in her life. The story of Frankenstein was inspired in part by one of the most important scientific theories of the time, Galvanism, the study of the effect of electricity on the dead bodies of animals and humans.

Mary Shelley spent the last few years of her life being looked after by her only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley, before dying of a brain tumor at the age of 53.

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Producer Ileen Maisel Inks First-Look Deal With Fox 21 TV Studios, Sets First Project Based On YA Novel ‘The Fandom’

Read on: Deadline.

Film producer Ileen Maisel (The Golden Compass) has signed a first-look deal with Fox 21 Television Studios. Under the pact, Maisel will develop TV projects through her Amber Television banner, starting with a TV series adaptation of Anna Day’s dystopian YA novel The Fandom.
The Fandom was published in January by Chicken House in the U.K.. The book stems from competition The Big Idea, a joint initiative by Chicken House, the publishing company of Barry Cunningham…

‘Sons of Anarchy’ Creator Kurt Sutter Signs Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox, Fox 21 and FX Productions

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Sons of Anarchy” and “Mayans MC” creator Kurt Sutter has signed a new multi-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television, Fox 21 TV Studios and FX Productions.

The deal keeps Sutter at Fox, where he’s been signed since 2012. He will continue to develop, write, supervise and produce new projects for television and other platforms.

Sutter has a long history with Fox and FX, dating back to Michael Chiklis crime drama “The Shield,” where he first served as staff writer and eventually executive producer. His next two series “Sons of Anarchy” and the short-lived “The Bastard Executioner” both hailed from 20th and FX. Sutter is also readying the “Sons” spinoff “Mayans MC” to premiere later this year.

“In a scary world of orange monsters and spontaneous castrations, Fox 21 and FX is my ‘safe place’ where I feel loved and appreciated,” Sutter said in a statement.

Also Read: ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Spinoff ‘Mayans MC’ to Premiere on FX Mid-Year

“Kurt is a true artist. He creates worlds that are original and compelling and imbues them with characters that are complex and authentic and storytelling that is novelistic in its detail and absolutely audacious in its execution,” said Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman in a statement. “The word that best describes Kurt’s work is visceral. First it grabs you on the page and then, in the hands of the talent he attracts, keeps you glued to the screen. There’s nobody else like him and he’s exactly the kind of creator we love to support and see succeed so wildly at our studio.”

“Kurt Sutter has been part of the FX family since the network’s first breakout success with The Shield and throughout its ascent as one of television’s premium networks for original programming,” FX Networks and FX Productions CEO John Landgraf said. “He awed fans with the iconic Sons of Anarchy and will soon launch the next great outlaw saga Mayans MC. He epitomizes the ‘fearless’ storyteller that we value so highly and we are grateful to build on this longstanding and incredibly successful relationship with this new overall deal.”

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Kurt Sutter Inks Big New Overall Deal With 20th TV & FX Prods. Ahead Of Disney Deal

Read on: Deadline.

Sons of Anarchy and spinoff Mayans MC creator Kurt Sutter has become the first A-list showrunner on 20th Century Fox TV/Fox 21/FX Prods.’ roster to re-up with the studios, which are awaiting a move to Disney as part of the pending acquisition of key Fox assets, including 20th TV and FX Networks.
Sutter has signed a new three overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, its cable/streaming division Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions. The rich pact is said to be in the…

Antonio Banderas to Play Pablo Picasso in ‘Genius’ Season 2

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

National Geographic has found its Pablo Picasso. Antonio Banderas has been cast as the famous artist in the second season of “Genius.”

Banderas has portrayed real-life figures before, from Pancho Villa in “And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself” to Che Guevara in “Evita.” He has a closer relationship with Picasso, however, because they both come from the same place.

“The life story of Pablo Picasso has long since fascinated me and I have so much respect for this man, who also comes from my birthplace Málaga,” Banderas said in a statement.

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“Antonio was the natural choice. He, like Picasso, has a no-holds-barred approach to life that will add to the genuineness that we’re looking for,” said executive producer Ron Howard. “He has such tremendous range as an actor, who I know will bring this brilliant and unconventional artist to life.”

The network previously announced that the second season of “Genius” would be about the life of Pablo Picasso, from his artistic contributions — which numbered close to 50,000 — to his personal life and political affairs.

“Picasso was a trailblazer who left a profound artistic and cultural impact on the world and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios in telling the untold story behind the brilliant individual,” Howard said at the time.

Also Read: ‘Genius’: This Einstein Wants to Know If the Real One Is a Communist (Exclusive Video)

Ken Biller will be returning to “Genius” as showrunner, executive producer and writer. Fox 21 Television Studios is producing, along with Howard, Brian Grazer, Imagine Entertainment, Madison Wells Media’s OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow. It’ll debut sometime in 2018.

“Genius” Season 1 chronicled the life of Albert Einstein. It starred Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn as Einstein in different moments of his life and how he came to be the celebrity scientist we know him to be. The network said it was its best performing new series launch to date, watched by over 45 million viewers globally.

It was recently nominated for 10 Emmys including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Rush.

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Warren Littlefield’s The Littlefield Company Inks First-Look Deal With Fox 21 TV

Read on: Variety.

“Fargo” executive producer Warren Littlefield has signed a two-year first-look pact with Fox 21 TV Studios, Variety has learned. Littlefield will develop projects for cable and digital platforms for Fox 21 through his The Littlefield Company production shingle. Though still best known for being one of the architects of NBC’s Must See TV years during… Read more »

‘Queen of the South’ Showrunner Natalie Chaidez Inks Overall Deal With Fox 21 TV Studios

Read on: Variety.

Natalie Chaidez has signed a two-year overall deal with Fox 21 TV Studios, Variety has learned. Chaidez recently took over as showrunner for Fox 21 and Universal Cable Productions’ “Queen of the South,” which was renewed for a second season at USA. Chaidez was formerly under an overall deal at UCP, where she created and… Read more »

‘Queen Of the South’ Showrunner Natalie Chaidez Inks Overall Deal With Fox 21

Read on: Deadline.

Veteran writer-producer and new Queen of the South showrunner Natalie Chaidez has signed a two-year overall deal at Fox 21 Television Studios, co-producer of the USA Network series.
Chaidez was named showrunner of Queen of the South when it was renewed for a second season in September, taking over for Scott Rosenbaum who ran Season 1.
“I first met Natalie 15 years ago, and I always thought she was a talented writer, but she has matured into an incredibly sophisticated…

‘Queen of the South’ Showrunner Natalie Chaidez Signs Overall Deal With Fox 21 TV

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Natalie Chaidez has a signed a new two-year overall deal at Fox 21 Television Studios, TheWrap has learned.

Chaidez is a writer and producer who will take over as showrunner of the USA Network series “Queen of the South” for its upcoming second season. Alice Braga will return as Teresa Mendoza, who will continue her quest to become a top drug smuggler.

“I first met Natalie 15 years ago, and I always thought she was a talented writer, but she has matured into an incredibly sophisticated storyteller,” said Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke. “She is doing a phenomenal job running ‘Queen of the South’ and thanks to her efforts, we are entering our second season really feeling like the show is stronger than ever.”

Also Read: Robert Downey Jr, Anthony Michael Hall Team for ‘Singularity’ TV Series (Exclusive)

She was previously under an overall deal at Universal Cable Productions (UCP), where she created and was showrunner on the SyFy series “Hunters,” based on the novel “Alien Hunter,” and was showrunner on the SyFy series “12 Monkeys,” which was based on Terry Gilliam film of the same name.

Chaidez also served as an producer and writer on shows like “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Heroes,” “In Plain Sight,” and “Judging Amy.”

She is represented by UTA and Circle of Confusion.

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