September 05, 2012 11:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Chuck Lorre, WBTV Ink 4-Year Deal That Includes Film, Cable Components
Chuck Lorre is staying put at Warner Bros. Television.
The prolific producer has inked a rich four-year overall development and production deal with the studio behind The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly that also includes cable and, as speculated, a film component.
Lorre will expand into dramatic series and potential longform projects -- for both broadcast and cable -- as well as film projects for the first time under his Chuck Lorre Productions banner, in addition to overseeing his three CBS comedies. All current and future TV works from Lorre will be produced in association with either WBTV or Warner Horizon TV, with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution handling global distribution.
"Chuck Lorre is the quintessential comedy writer-producer of our time, the most successful creator/showrunner of the last 25 years in this business," WBTV president Peter Roth said. "We are so incredibly excited -- and honored -- to be continuing our partnership with him. Chuck has had a profound impact on Warner Bros. Television over the last 12 years, and we look forward to a long and successful future relationship."
The pact comes a year after the Two and a Half Men executive producer slogged through a public parting of ways with his former star, Charlie Sheen. The series was relaunched last year for a ninth season with Ashton Kutcher replacing Sheen, premiering to record numbers in September.
This season, Men is on the move to Thursdays following Big Bang Theory, which had an impressive ratings year, besting Fox's American Idol in the coveted adults 18-49 demographic in multiple airings. Mike & Molly, meanwhile, continues to pick up awards-season recognition for star Melissa McCarthy.
"I'm proud to say that at 12 years and counting, my relationship with Warner Bros. is now officially longer than either of my marriages," Lorre said. "With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to extend our little corporate love affair and try for 'until death do us part.' I'm also excited to have an opportunity to venture into the world of drama. After writing and producing sitcoms for 20 years, it’ll be a welcome relief to take all the violence, insanity and human suffering from behind the cameras and put it out front.
"And finally," he added, "the feature component of this new deal allows me to fulfill a lifelong ambition -- to have a project in turnaround."
Including syndicated repeats of all three series, Lorre's programming is broadcast for more than 30 hours per week in the U.S. alone.
In addition to Lorre, WBTV also has overall deals with Damon Lindelof, J.J. Abrams, Greg Berlanti, Josh Schwartz and Kevin Williamson, among others.
Lorre, repped by ICM Partners, also is slated to release a book, What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Bitter, featuring his popular and often controversial vanity cards, through CBS Corp.'s Simon and Schuster.