May 01, 2013 9:30am PT by Lacey Rose
'21 Jump Street's' Phil Lord and Chris Miller Ink Pod Deal With 20th TV
21 Jump Street's Phil Lord and Chris Miller are returning to television.
The in-demand film directors have signed a three year pod deal at 20th Century Fox Television. As part of the lucrative pact, they will develop, write and direct their own comedy projects -- both live action and animation -- for both broadcast and cable. Under the terms of the deal, they will also develop and supervise other writers' projects.
The partners, who were heavily courted by multiple networks and studios, have a history at 20th, where they have written for a variety of series including How I Met Your Mother. "They really want to be versatile and prolific, and they want to have multiple shows during their time here," says 20th TV chairman Gary Newman told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that the studio he runs with Dana Walden offers the pair a "big pallet" with which to paint. "We like to think of ourselves as a pretty artist-centric studio -- we love people with a vision and ambition, and that's who they are."
The pair added: “We couldn't be more excited to return to 20th Television and work with Dana and Gary who have shown excellent taste ever since they hired us 10 years ago. They have created such a diverse slate of programming in both animation and live-action that we admire and hope to build upon. We were also really impressed by the studio's proximity to Chris' house and the pretzel-bread in the commissary."
For Lord and Miller, this marks a return to the medium. The partners served as writers and co-executive producers on CBS' HIMYM during the show's early years, as well as consulting producers on Fox's short-lived Cracking Up. Prior to that, the men, who met while undergraduates at Dartmouth before landing a gig together developing Saturday morning cartoons for the Walt Disney Company, co-created MTV's acclaimed animated series Clone High with Cougar Town's Bill Lawrence.
More recently, Lord and Miller have devoted their attention to the big screen, for which they co-wrote and co-directed Sony's Cloudy with the a Chance of Meatballs. The duo is currently teaming on the Warner Bros.' animated adventure-comedy feature Lego: The Piece of Resistance. And while they will continue their feature work, the small screen's lure was no surprise to Newman: "For people who have the ambition that they have to create a lot of content and tell lots of stories, the feature world satisfies a certain part of that itch," he says, "but there's nothing like TV to be able to do a variety of projects and the speed with which these things happen as compared to movies is incredibly attractive."
Lord and Miller are repped by UTA and Matt Johnson and Sam Fischer at Ziffren Brittenham.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose