'Criminal Minds' and 'Mudbound' Writer Inks Overall Deal With Universal Television

Virgil Williams is exiting the CBS drama and will develop new projects for NBC's studio counterpart.
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Virgil Williams

Virgil Williams is moving out of Criminal Minds.

The longtime writer and co-executive producer has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television. Under the pact, he will develop new series for broadcast, cable and streaming services.

Williams spent six years on CBS' Criminal Minds, contributing to nearly 140 episodes during his tenure. During that span, he also was involved in an on-set altercation in which original star Thomas Gibson allegedly kicked him. (Gibson was eventually fired from the ABC Studios-produced drama.) 

The Universal TV deal reunites Williams with Erin Underhill, the studio's newly promoted executive vp drama development.

"Virgil and I first crossed paths while working on ER, and I couldn’t be happier to collaborate with him once again,” said Underhill. “He has a strong, distinct voice and point of view, and I look forward to developing great dramas together. We couldn’t be luckier to have him at Universal TV.”

Williams' credits include the Sundance Film Festival hit Mudbound, the feature he co-wrote and executive produced, which sold to Netflix for $12.5 million following a bidding war earlier this year. On the TV side, he counts The Chicago Code and 24 among his credits.

"This new opportunity represents the culmination of years of hard work and I'm incredibly excited to get started,” said Williams. “[Universal TV president] Pearlena [Igbokwe], Erin and their team want to create high-quality, sophisticated television dramas, and I hope to contribute to that endeavor in a big way."

Williams is repped by CAA, the Shuman Co. and attorneys Eric Sherman and P.J. Shapiro.

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