Katz has more time for '24,' 20th projects

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"24" executive producer Evan Katz has inked a new rich seven-figure overall deal with the series producer, 20th Century Fox Television, to continue on the real-time drama and develop new projects.

The two-year pact, which has an option for a third, replaces Katz's existing two-year overall deal with 20th TV, which had another year on it.

"Evan has done a fantastic job on '24,' " 20th TV president Dana Walden said. "It's clearly such an important series for the studio, so we found it to be a very good business decision to (secure) every writer who is crucial to the show for as long as possible, and Evan is at the top of that list."

Katz worked on several series at Paramount Network TV — UPN's "Special Unit 2," which he created, as well as "JAG" and "Seven Days" — before he joined "24" at the beginning of the second season in 2003.

"The show's been very good to me in every way," Katz said of "24." "It's the first time I've been on a show that is an out-and-out commercial and critical success and has created a cultural footprint. It's been an eye-opener and a very satisfying experience."

On "24," Katz serves as executive producer alongside co-creators Joel Surnow and Bob Cochran, showrunner Howard Gordon, star Kiefer Sutherland as well as John Cassar and Brian Grazer.

"It's been an honor and a pleasure to work with Howard Gordon and the rest of the writers and producers on '24,' " Katz said. "I look forward to another two seasons of terror, betrayal and murderously dysfunctional relationships."

"24" recently was picked up by Fox for two more seasons, and Gordon has made it clear that the real-time thriller is headed for a major makeover in the fall.

"It's alternately exciting, maddening and rewarding trying to reinvent the show, but I think we figured out a way to do it," Katz said.

Extending his relationship with 20th TV was an easy decision, and getting the opportunity to develop again is exciting, Katz said.

"I appreciate Dana and (president) Gary (Newman)'s continued faith in me," he said. "The shows I created before working on '24' all incorporated humor, and I'd like to put that back into my work."

On the feature side, Katz has the thriller "The Amateur" in the works at Fox 2000, with Hugh Jackman attached to star and produce with his producing partner John Palermo.

Katz is repped by Endeavor and Michael Gendler.
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