October 17, 2013 12:30pm PT by Lacey Rose, Lesley Goldberg
'Breaking Bad's' George Mastras Inks Overall Deal With HBO
Breaking Bad's George Mastras is heading to HBO.
The producer behind AMC's dearly departed Vince Gilligan drama has inked a two-year overall deal with the premium cable network, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Under the two-year pact, which is exclusive in television, Mastras will develop new projects for HBO. He's also in talks to join the cabler's upcoming Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter 1970s rock 'n' roll drama. A formal deal for the latter project has not yet been secured.
The rock 'n' roll drama, previously known as History of Music, hails from Boardwalk Empire's Winter and Scorsese, the latter of whom will direct and executive produce. Winter will pen the script and exec produce. The project is based on an idea from Rolling Stones frontman Jagger, who conceived the entry as a film first at Disney and then at Paramount. He will exec produce with his Jagged Films partner Victoria Pearman.
Feature writer-directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien were tapped to serve as showrunners on the rock drama, but exited the project this week. Mastras would take over as showrunner on the Bobby Cannavale starrer, which is set to film the pilot in New York early next year.
Mastras recently wrapped production on Bad, which ended its run with a best drama Emmy and a series-high 10.3 million viewers. As is often the case coming off of a show as well received as the Bryan Cranston vehicle, the series' six writers plus creator and showrunner Gilligan are in high demand. It is for that reason that Gilligan and Peter Gould will struggle to populate the writers room for the show's prequel, tentatively titled Better Call Saul, with fellow Bad writers, as they had hoped.
In this week's THR cover story, Gilligan opened up about the challenges of moving on, acknowledging that there is a pressure -- both internal and external -- to replicate the success he has just had on Bad. "It scares me," he told THR, accepting that he will never be able to fly under the radar again, just as he won't be able to do anything that isn't compared to Bad. He added: "The odds of winning the lottery two weeks in a row are pretty infinitesimal."
Mastras, who is the younger brother of Mad Men writer-producer Maria Jacquemetton, is repped by CAA and Dan Halsted at Manage-Ment. He worked on all five seasons of Breaking Bad and was nominated for Emmys in 2010 and 2012. He's a two-time WGA Award winner for his work on the series. He began writing for television in 2006 on the ABC procedural The Evidence. He next will pen feature 90 Church for Universal Pictures.