1:30pm PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
'Dear Evan Hansen’ Playwright Inks Overall Deal With 20th TV (Exclusive)
Hot off the success of Broadway sensation Dear Evan Hansen, Steven Levenson is inking a TV development deal.
The playwright, who wrote the book for the buzzy musical, has signed a two-year overall deal with Fox 21 Television Studios and 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, Levenson will create projects for cable, streaming and broadcast channels.
Dear Evan Hansen, which centers on a high school senior with social anxiety disorder (played by Pitch Perfect’s Ben Platt), has been one of the season's biggest hits. With music and lyrics by La La Land duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Stacey Mindich-produced musical debuted to rave reviews and earned $5.4 million in its first six weeks.
Prior to Evan Hansen, Levenson wrote the off-Broadway play If I Forget about three generations of a Jewish family dealing with the lasting impact of the Holocaust today. On the TV side, the 32-year-old scribe previously served as a writer and producer on Showtime’s since-canceled period drama Masters of Sex. His credits also include Fox's Wayward Pines and CBS' short-lived drama Vegas.
Levenson is currently writing a screenplay adaptation for Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig's upcoming musical from Marc Platt based on Sport Murphy and Steve Young’s book Everything Is Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals.
“Steven Levenson is truly one of the bright shining voices on the American stage right now and somebody with whom we have wanted to work for a long time," Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke said Thursday in a statement. "We believe that just as his show Dear Evan Hansen is, Steven’s work to come in television will be truly transcendent."
Levenson is just the latest theater name to land an overall deal with a TV studio. 20th TV already has exclusive pacts with Platt and Hamilton director Thomas Kail, who both worked on Fox's Grease: Live. Meanwhile, Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller and his producing partner Flody Suarez have set up shop at Universal Television.
Levenson is repped by WME and David Berlin of Schreck Rose.