'Eastbound and Down' Team Locks Development Deal at 20th Television
The creative team behind the HBO comedy Eastbound and Down and such films as Pineapple Express has landed a one-year pod deal at 20th Century Fox Television to develop live-action and animated series for broadcast networks.
Rough House Pictures, run by Eastbound co-creators Danny McBride and Jody Hill with frequent director collaborator David Gordon Green and executive Matt Reilly, will be tasked with bringing writers and other talent to the studio. The pact marks the first network TV deal for Rough House, created in 2009 by Green, Hill and McBride, buddies from the North Carolina School of the Arts.
With Eastbound and such films as Observe and Report and Your Highness on their resumes, the Rough House guys have mostly trafficked in R-rated comedy. But 20th co-head Gary Newman says the studio was attracted to the principals' original voices, which won't need to be watered down too much for broadcast network series.
"We won’t be doing R-rated TV but what we don’t want to reign in is the wild creativity," Newman tells THR. "They understand this. They’re looking to bring their brand of humor to a wide audience."
Rough House head Reilly agrees.
"It’s flexing different muscles," he says. "It’s characters and a point of view. That doesn’t just apply to gritty cable shows. We all grew up watching Cheers and M*A*S*H, the great network shows. Cable was our first course, this is our second course."
The pact covers both animated and live-action comedy, and both Newman and Reilly see 20th's success with Seth MacFarlane's comedies (Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show) as an example of off-color humor that has thrived on the Fox network.
"It’s great to know that guys like Seth have worked to push the envelope," Reilly says. "We hope to do that."
McBride (CAA) and Hill (CAA) are currently in production on Season 3 of Eastbound. Green (CAA) is directing the forthcoming Jonah Hill feature The Sitter for 20th Century Fox.