Schwartz, Savage form production company
Duo's Fake Empire will be based at Warner Bros. TVTop TV writer-producer Josh Schwartz has partnered with longtime collaborator Stephanie Savage to launch a production company, Fake Empire.
The new outfit will be based at Warner Bros. TV -- where Schwartz and Savage have spent their entire careers -- with a multiyear, overall deal. Schwartz's College Hill Prods. will be folded into Fake Empire.
"Josh and Stephanie are an outstanding creative team, responsible for two of the most iconic television series in recent history in 'Gossip Girl' and 'The O.C.,' " WBTV president Peter Roth said.
Schwartz and Savage met on the WBTV-produced teen drama "The O.C." At 26, he became the youngest creator/showrunner when the pilot was picked up to series by Fox in 2003, when Savage was running McG's Wonderland Sound and Vision, which co-produced the show. Savage made her TV writing debut with the series' "The Best Chrismukkah Ever" episode and went on to become an executive producer on the show.
Schwartz and Savage next teamed to develop the CW's "Gossip Girl." Schwartz also co-created with Chris Fedak the NBC action dramedy "Chuck" and with Matt Miller the comedy pilot "Hitched," which is in contention at CBS. He also created the music-centered Web series "Rockville CA."
"Stephanie started out as kinda my boss on 'The O.C.,' crossing her arms while making me write and timing my naps," Schwartz said. "Then I got to be kinda her boss on 'Gossip Girl,' watching her develop from a great producer to a terrific writer. We managed to work together for seven years in different roles in each other's careers and, despite all the pressures and the stress that come with the job, managed to remain creatively trusting and supportive of each other."
While TV projects through the WBTV pact will be a main focus for Fake Empire, the company also plans to produce projects in other fields including features, online, music and publishing.
Schwartz and Savage's passion for music that led to them producing a series of soundtracks for their series also is reflected in the name they chose for their company, which comes from a song title by Brooklyn-based indie rock band the National.
Being "writers at heart," Schwartz said they want to build a "writer-friendly company" and oversee other scribes as they develop new series.
When it came to where to set the new company, the two didn't even consider another home.
"Peter Roth went to the mat for 'Chuck,' and there is no one better than him to be in your corner," Schwartz said.
On the feature side, Schwartz will write and direct an updated version of the Jay McInerney novel "Bright Lights, Big City," which Savage is producing. He also has written "X-Men: First Class."
Schwartz and Savage are repped by WME.