July 31, 2012 10:09am PT by Lesley Goldberg
John Legend Inks Development Deal With Universal Cable Productions
John Legend is focusing on television.
The nine-time Grammy winner has inked an exclusive pod deal with Universal Cable Productions, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Under the deal, Legend and his Get Lifted Film Co., with partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius, will work alongside UCP senior vps Richard Rothstein, Chris Sanagustin and Maira Suro to develop series for cable and broadcast networks.
"We're thrilled to have the creative talents of John, Mike and Ty to help us in our efforts to create imaginative and signature television,” Rothstein, Sanagustin and Suro said in a joint statement. "Already, they've proven their passion and commitment to TV by bringing unique talent to the studio. We look forward to a fun and productive partnership."
Rothstein, Sanagustin and Suro oversee the studio's development for USA Network, Syfy and external networks, respectively.
The pact marks Legend's first step into the TV series arena. At UCP, the Duets personality joins a studio roster that includes The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd's Valhalla Entertainment; Hypnotic, which produces Covert Affairs and Suits for USA; and Tagline, the shingle behind USA's Psych.
"Ty, Mike and I are really excited about working with Maira, Richard and Chris and the entire UCP family as we take this next step forward in building Get Lifted," Legend said in a statement. "I believe we can do something really special."
In addition to his role on ABC's Duets, Legend most recently fronted a Showtime special and will be heading out on tour in the fall. CAA and Del Shaw Moonves repped Legend's Get Lifted in the deal.
Legend broke out as a recording artist with his 2004 debut Get Lifted. All three of his albums have made the top 5 of the Billboard 200 and topped the R&B chart. His most recent disc, 2008's Evolver, peaked at No. 4 and went gold. He also has collaborated on songs by dozens of acts including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and T.I.