The Truth About Writer-Producers’ Overall Deals

EXCLUSIVE: Alex Gansa, who developed Showtime’s hot freshman drama Homeland with Howard Gordon, has signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, which developed the series and whose cable division Fox21 produces it. Under the pact, Gansa will continue to executive produce/co-showrun Homeland with Gordon and will also develop new projects both for cable and network. “The work that Alex Gansa has done on Homelandfor the last year and a half is as good as any work I’ve seen done in television,” said Fox 21 president Bert Salke. “He lives and breathes the show, and he has a great instinct about what is right for the world…”

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We’ve been joyfully reading about a myriad of overall TV deals for writer-producers lately and love that writers are getting not only this much money and opportunity but also this kind of publicity.

Several longtime big-deal pros, however, have pointed out the real fly in this particular ointment, so we at TVWriter™ feel oh-so-obligated to pass it on:

Long term commitments rob the talent of one of the mostwonderful powers independent creative people have:

The power to turn, stride out the door, and say, loudly, clearly, joyfully, and, most important of all relevantly when someone’s screwing up your work:

“Fuck you!”

Just a little something to keep in mind, kids, that’s all.

About LB

Larry Brody has been profiled in such national magazines and websites as Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, Starlog, People, Electronic Media, IndieSlate, TechTV, io9, and of course TV Guide. A legendary figure in the television writing and production world, with a career going back to the late ’60s, Brody has written and produced literally thousands of hours of network and syndicated television. Brody has also been active in the TV animation world, writing, creating, consulting, and/or supervising the cult favorite STAR TREK animated TV series, the SILVER SURFER, SPAWN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN, and SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED animated series, and was showrunner of the French animated series, DIABOLIK, as well as part of the team that developed and wrote the live-action/cgi animation sci-fi series Ace Lightning for the BBC. Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys.