Scott Rudin Inks Sprawling TV Deal With Fox Networks Group

Scott Rudin

The three-year first-look deal involves three different distribution entities: Fox Broadcasting, FX Networks and National Geographic Channel.

Scott Rudin has signed a sprawling TV deal with Fox Networks Group.

The three-year first-look deal, which was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, covers three separate distribution entities: Fox Broadcasting, FX Networks and National Geographic Channel.

Sources say Garrett Basch, who most recently was partnered with Steve Zaillian with the Fox-based Film Rites production company, is in talks to run the TV division for Scott Rudin Productions. Basch will give Rudin a Los Angeles presence for the first time in years (New York-based Rudin shuttered his LA offices in 2011). Basch will be based on the Fox lot in Century City.

Fox Networks Group chairman and CEO Peter Rice was instrumental in reeling in the uber-producer, who is best known for his Oscar bait films like best picture winner No Country for Old Men but has been quietly ramping up his TV slate over the past year.

"Scott is an extraordinary creative producer and we are thrilled he is choosing to bring his unique passion for storytelling and storytellers to Fox's unique portfolio of studios and channels," Rice said.

Added Rudin: "Peter Rice has been a close collaborator and great friend for years. I’ve had the luck of partnering with Peter on many projects — and I've never gone wrong following his lead. He's put together an amazing team of executives at Fox, and I'm incredibly excited about this opportunity."

Though Rudin is one of Hollywood's most prolific and successful film producers, he has left a far smaller footprint on the TV front. His HBO series The Newsroom, which was created by Aaron Sorkin, was a success, running for three seasons. But another HBO project, a high-profile adaptation of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, never was picked up to series.

Still, as the quality of TV continues to improve in this so-called Golden Era of television, Rudin's sensibilities dovetail with so much of the ambitious programming under Rice's umbrella — FX in particular. It's no surprise that Rudin is sharpening his focus on the medium.

Rudin projects developed for Fox will be produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television and those developed for FX Networks and National Geographic Channel will be produced by FX Productions.

Unlike a previous Rudin-HBO deal, the new Fox deal offers a great deal of flexibility, allowing for projects that are passed on to be taken to other studios. The move also represents something of a homecoming for the producer, who was once president of production at 20th Century Fox Films.

On the film front, Rudin has a nonexclusive deal with Sony, where he produced such hits as The Social Network and Captain Phillips. The Sony agreement runs through 2018, but there is speculation that new studio head Tom Rothman is looking to jettison Rudin's deal, and there is rampant speculation that Rudin will eventually move his film base to Fox as well.

Rudin's recent film credits include The Grand Budapest Hotel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and True Grit. He also is extremely active on Broadway, where this year he has two projects vying for top Tony awards: This Is Our Youth and Skylight, the latter of which took home the best revival prize.

Rudin is repped by WME and attorney Melanie Cook.

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