Michael London's Groundswell Inks First-Look Deal at Fox 21

Michael London
Michael London
 Getty Images

Michael London's Groundswell Productions is putting down roots in TV.

The production shingle behind early Amazon comedy series Betas has inked a first-look deal for cable with Fox 21. As part of the pact, London will exclusively develop and produce projects for the studio, along with Janice Williams, Groundswell's president of production, and Shary Shirazi, its director of development. According to Fox 21 president Bert Salke, the hope is that London produces multiple projects across genres and formats.

In addition to Betas, Groundswell has been active this broadcast development season, selling the Oliver Sacks drama Sparks to NBC (via 20th Century Fox TV), transgender teen drama ZE to The CW (CBS Studios) and Stephanie Savage's The Astronaut Wives Club to ABC (ABC Studios). The company also is developing a series adaptation of A Visit From the Goon Squad, based on Jennifer Egan's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

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"Taste-wise, he's exactly where we think we are, and relationship wise, he's a guy that's been developing [intellectual property] for film and TV for 25 years, yet he still has a young, modern edge to him," Salke tells The Hollywood Reporter of a producer he calls "phenomenal," before adding: "We're the type of place that will build stuff with and for him."

On the feature side, Groundswell recently attached Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston to star in Trumbo, a Jay Roach-helmed drama about the Hollywood blacklist. London's film credits include Sideways, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, as well as Milk, The Informant, The Family Stone and The Illusionist.

London's Groundswell joins a growing roster of writer-producers at Fox 21, including Hung creators Dmitry Lipkin and Collette Burson, Syriana director Stephen Gaghan, Bates Motel producers Roy Lee and John Middleton and playwright Craig Wright. The 20th TV cable offshoot is responsible for such shows as FX's Sons of Anarchy and Showtime's Homeland, among others.

Groundswell is repped by WME and Michael Schenkman at Bloom Hergott.

E-mail: Lacey.Rose@THR.com
Twitter: @LaceyVRose

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