'Modern Family' man inks 20th pact
Jason Winer in two-year, seven-figure overall dealHot off directing the most lauded comedy pilot this season, ABC's "Modern Family," Jason Winer has inked a new two-year overall deal with the studio behind it, 20th Century Fox TV.
Under the seven-figure pact, Winer will serve as co-executive producer on "Family" in addition to developing, writing, producing and directing other projects for the studio.
20th TV first got in business with Winer five years ago when studio brass invited him to develop his short "The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friends" into a TV series.
Winer went on to land three consecutive pilot orders in as many years with the single-camera "Guy" at Fox, "Giants of Radio" at CBS and "This Might Hurt" at ABC.
"Ultimately, everything came together as beautifully as it can in 'Modern Family,' where he took a really funny and innovative script and, through his directing, took it to another level, gave it freshness and authenticity," 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said.
The plan for Winer is to write as well as probably supervise a couple of scripts by other scribes and get attached to direct existing 20th projects.
On "Family," created by Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, Winer will serve as the directing producer, helming six episodes of the series' 12-episode order, including the first two after the pilot.
He also is readying a new comedy project of his own, which he expects to take out to the networks soon.
All of Winer's previous projects have included improvisational elements and were done for modest price tag.
In 2006, he made news when he took the $150,000 he got from 20th TV to write a script and used it to film the full-length semi-scripted pilot "Giants," which was picked up by CBS for fall consideration along with its far more expensive traditionally produced comedy pilots.
Even on "Family," a complex, fully scripted single-camera pilot, he came in under budget by streamlining the filming process.
Winer said he doesn't plan to stray from that MO with his future projects.
"Everything I've done has been not traditional," he said. "Everything I've done has broken the budget model for a single-camera comedy. And everything I will be pitching will approach producing single-camera comedy in a way that makes it faster and more affordable than it's ever been."
Winer is repped ICM, Mosaic and attorney Todd Rubenstein.