Cuesta planted at 20th TV, set to sow 'Oaks'

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Michael Cuesta has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television to direct, executive produce and co-write series projects for the studio.

Under the pact, Cuesta is directing/executive producing "The Oaks," 20th TV's high-profile drama pilot for Fox, now in preproduction.

In addition to getting "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan on board as showrunner, securing Cuesta as director also was key to Fox and 20th TV's landing the project, which had been coveted by two other networks.

20th TV chairman Dana Walden said the studio was impressed with the first project Cuesta worked on for them, "Babylon Fields," the zombie dramedy pilot for CBS that he co-created, directed and exec produced.

"From the script to the dailies to the final cut, it was inspired," she said. "It completely captured a tone that was distinctive and original, and a lot of that was because of Michael Cuesta."

For Cuesta, his experience on "Babylon" also was crucial to his decision to ally with 20th TV.

"They were extremely supportive and really got behind it," he said. "They treated me like a filmmaker and trusted my vision."

Cuesta directed the pilot of Showtime's acclaimed drama "Dexter." He also directed multiple episodes and served as co-executive producer on the series' first season.

He also directed multiple episodes of Alan Ball's HBO series "Six Feet Under."

Cuesta's two indie features "L.I.E." and "Twelve and Holding" earned him several Independent Spirit Award nominations. He has several feature projects in development, including one with Michael Stipe and Sandy Stern at Single Cell Pictures.

Cuesta is repped by Endeavor, D/F Management and attorney Andrew Hurwitz.
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