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Director Martin Campbell is returning to his TV roots with a three-for-one deal at Fox Broadcasting Co.
Under the pact, Campbell will develop three one-hour projects. One of them will go to pilot, which he will executive produce and direct.
Campbell had been on Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly’s radar for 15 years.
As vp drama at NBC, Reilly oversaw the pilot of “Homicide: Life on the Street,” which was directed by the cop drama’s executive producer, Barry Levinson. When the pilot was picked to series in 1992, Levinson invited then little-known Campbell to helm the important second episode.
“I remember at the time it stood out,” Reilly said of the Campbell-directed episode, which marked the helmer’s U.S. debut.
Campbell directed one more episode of “Homicide’s” first season before transitioning to Hollywood features with 1994’s “No Escape,” followed by “GoldenEye” and “The Mask of Zorro.”
Reilly said he’d been impressed by Campbell’s big-screen work, especially by the director’s success in reinventing the James Bond franchise with 2006’s “Casino Royale.”
“He’s a pro, a really nice man and expert in television,” Reilly said. “He’s going to be great with the Fox brand.”
Before coming to the U.S. in 1982, Campbell had a decade of experience working in British television.
“I was brought up in television,” Campbell said. “It’s exciting to go back and try my hand at it again.”
The timing of his return to television was very important.
“The quality of television shows is fantastic now,” he said. “I think, especially on the drama shows, arguably some of the scripts are as good if not better than in features.”
Campbell met with several networks before settling down with Fox. “I had a great rapport with Fox (and) found them really responsive,” Campbell said.
Pilot directors typically come on board late in the process with little time to make adjustments. Campbell was looking for a hands-on involvement in the development process, something a 3-for-1 deal allows. The deal is not tied a studio, so he can work with any writer. Campbell is expected to start hearing pitches from writers this week. In his development, he will get help from Lucienne Papon, who works with him.
On the feature side, Campbell has several projects in the hopper, including “36” and “Unstoppable” aka “Runaway Train.”
He is repped by CAA, ICM London and attorney Walter Teller.
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