'Bones' roller Nathan signs with 20th TV

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"Bones" executive producer Stephen Nathan has inked a two-year overall deal with the show's producer, 20th Century Fox Television.

Under the seven-figure pact, which has an option for a third year, Nathan will continue on "Bones" — where he serves as No. 2 to creator/showrunner Hart Hanson — and develop new projects for the studio.

20th TV president Dana Walden praised Nathan for being "such a great partner to Hart" and for "playing a key role in establishing the voice of the show."

"Everyone at the studio loves working with him — he's funny, he's smart, and his characters just jump off the page," Walden said. "When it comes to the kind of writer we want to be in business with, he is the prototype. He can write comedy, drama, character pieces, procedurals … he can do it all."

Nathan worked with Hanson on CBS' "Joan of Arcadia" and followed him on "Bones" right after the pilot. He was immediately attracted to the project, a light crime drama about a forensic anthropologist (Emily Deschanel) and an FBI agent (David Boreanaz) who become partners to solve old murders.

"The show was so interesting — it wasn't a straight procedural, it had a lot of emphasis on characters and comedy," said Nathan, who has an extensive background in comedy. "It was a great synthesis of the two styles that's successful and enjoyable to write."

Nathan started as a consulting producer on "Bones." He was quickly named executive producer on the show, which is returning for a third season in the fall. This is his first overall deal with 20th TV.

"It's been a great experience being at (20th Century) Fox, where everyone has been incredibly supportive of the show and of me," he said.

In his development for the studio, Nathan said he plans to "try to develop something that does bridge the gap like 'Bones,' that has a very comedic feel but also is a drama."

Nathan, who started his career as an actor and originated the role of Jesus in the musical "Godspell," won a WGA Award for co-writing the special "Tracey Takes on New York."

His series credits also include "Family Law" and "Everybody Loves Raymond." He is repped by Endeavor.
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