11:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
'Empire' Co-Creator Danny Strong Signs Overall Deal With 20th TV
20th Century Fox Television is locking in another key member of the Empire family.
Series co-creator, executive producer, writer and director Danny Strong has signed a multiyear overall deal with the studio, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Under the pact, Strong will continue to serve as an executive producer and frequent writer and director on the hit hip-hop drama, which returns in the fall for season three. He will also develop, write, direct and supervise new projects for the studio.
"Our relationship with Danny goes all the way back to his days as an actor on Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Fox TV Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman said. "Little did we know then that he would one day go on to co-create one of the biggest hits in the history of our studio and network, let alone the No. 1 show on broadcast television. He's a spectacular talent who can literally do it all, and everyone—from actors and writers to the crew and executives — loves working with him. This a big win for our company, and we couldn't be happier personally that Danny will continue to write, direct, supervise and develop series for us for years to come."
Added Strong: "Working with Dana and Gary and their entire team has been one of the best experiences of my career. Without their guidance and creative instincts, Empire never would have made it on the air, let alone become the success that it has. I'm so honored to be in business with a company that continues to raise the bar with excellent and original programming and am looking forward to many more years with such a fantastic and talented group of people."
Strong is the latest member of the Empire team to sign an overall deal at the studio, following co-creator Lee Daniels and showrunner Ilene Chaiken. Going into its third season, Empire continues to perform, ranking as the top scripted series on broadcast television for the 2015-16 season with a 6.6 rating among adults 18-49.
After getting his start as an actor on series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which 20th TV produced, and Gilmore Girls, Strong expanded into screenwriting. He has written several HBO films, including Recount and Game Change, the latter for which he won two Emmys. He also wrote the screenplays for Lee Daniels' The Butler and the final two Hunger Games films. Strong also penned the script for 21st Century Fox's Guys and Dolls remake and will soon wrap his feature film directorial debut, Rebel in the Rye.
Strong, who has continued to act in series such as Mad Men and Girls, will be seen in Netflix's upcoming Gilmore Girls revival.
Strong is repped by CAA, The Gotham Group and Jackaway Tyerman.