9:55am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Vikings' Creator Inks Overall Deal With A+E Studios
A+E Studios is locking up its Vikings creator.
Michael Hirst has signed a multiyear first-look overall deal with the studio behind History's Vikings.
Under the terms of the pact, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and producer will develop, create and produce original drama programming for A+E networks including A&E, Lifetime and History, as well as outside buyers.
Hirst's pact marks only the second overall deal for A+E Studios. He joins Bates Motel and The Returned's Carlton Cuse as having that distinction. (Cuse signed a three-year deal in October.)
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"I'm delighted to be joining with A+E Studios in a creative, ongoing partnership,” Hirst said. “My experience working with the History Channel on Vikings has been altogether positive, enjoyable and collaborative. I now look forward eagerly to developing more original drama with A+E Studios' very committed team.”
"Michael is an extraordinarily gifted writer and producer,” said Barry Jossen, A+E Studios exec vp. "His distinct voice and unique vision make him an ideal partner for A+E Studios. We look forward to a long and productive future together.”
Hirst is considered one of the leading historical storytellers in the industry and has been a screenwriter for almost 30 years. He has written every episode of History's first original scripted series Vikings. His feature credits include The Ballad of the Sad Café, Fools of Fortune and Elizabeth, the latter of which was nominated for six Oscars including best picture. He also created, executive produced and wrote every episode of Showtime's The Tudors. He's repped by WME and Nelson Davis.