'Modern Family's' Steve Levitan Inks Rich Overall Deal at 20th TV

9:30 AM PST 03/18/2014 by Lacey Rose
Steve Levitan

The co-creator of the hit family comedy is staying put for at least four more years with a deal that will have him supervise and develop new projects as well.

Steve Levitan is staying put at 20th Century Fox Television.

The studio responsible for his latest juggernaut, Modern Family, has extended his overall deal for four more years. As part of the pact, Levitan will remain an executive producer and, with Chris Lloyd, co-showrunner of the ABC series. He also will supervise and develop new projects for the studio.

“I'm lucky to be part of a hit comedy that even my kids seem to like and I care deeply about it finishing strong,” said Levitan, adding: “I love all the wonderfully insane people with whom I get to work. Gary [Newman] and Dana [Walden] are the Jay Z and Beyonce of television executives. I see no reason to leave."

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The new deal will keep him at a studio that he has called home for more than 10 years. Though Levitan’s résumé includes hits from Wings and Frasier to Just Shoot Me, his latest co-creation proved a monster success at a time when broadcast comedy hits were rare. In fact, at the time of Modern’s launch, the genre had been declared dead by multiple media outlets.

In the five seasons since, Modern Family has managed to deliver both commercially (still a top performer for ABC, despite recent dips) and critically (four consecutive best comedy Emmy wins, plus multiple WGA, PGA and BAFTA wins). What’s more, 20th TV was able to ink a very rich syndication deal with USA, which began airing repeats of the single-camera comedy this past fall.

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“Steve isn’t just a brilliant writer and showrunner, although he’s clearly both – he’s family to us. He’s about as creative a guy as there is in this business, and his dedication to making a show as great as it can be inspires everyone around him,” noted Walden, 20th TV’s chairman and CEO. “He’ll continue on the amazing Modern Family but also develop, direct and write new projects -- there’s really no limit to what he can do. He’s a fantastic producer and I can’t think of a time when we wouldn’t want him at the top of our roster.”

The deal follows those for many others on Levitan's staff. Executive producer Danny Zuker along with Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh recently resigned with 20th TV, while Bill Wrubel and Dan O'Shannon are moving to Warner Bros. TV and CBS TV Studios, respectively. The latter two will depart the long-running show at the end of this season.

Levitan, who nabbed an Emmy of his own in 2012 for directing an episode of Modern Family, is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham. 

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com

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