10:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Happy Endings' Creator Moves From Sony to Universal TV With Overall Deal (Exclusive)
Happy Endings creator David Caspe is on the move.
The comedy writer, most recently behind Showtime's Black Monday, has departed his longtime home at indie studio Sony Pictures Television for a sizable four-year overall deal with Universal Television.
Under the new pact, Caspe will create, develop and showrun new projects for NBC's studio counterpart.
"You would think that a writer who sells his very first TV pitch and it becomes the cult classic Happy Endings is someone everyone would hate. Turns out David Caspe is the exact opposite," Universal TV president Pearlena Igbokwe said Wedensday in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "Not only has he earned his success but also his reputation as a truly nice guy. We’re very excited to have someone as talented as David joining us at Universal Television.”
Caspe's move to UTV will not impact season two of Showtime's Sony-produced Black Monday. He will continue to serve as co-showrunner on the 1980s Wall Street comedy starring Don Cheadle alongside fellow co-creator Jordan Cahan. The series will now have producers based at two outside studios involved when season two returns in 2020: Caspe and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, with the latter pair recently having departed their longtime home at Sony for a lucrative film and TV pact with Lionsgate.
Caspe becomes the latest writer-producer to ink a lucrative overall deal as the demand for experienced showrunners continues to escalate, thanks in part to media giants WarnerMedia, Comcast, Disney and Apple launching streaming services in a bid to compete with Netflix.
Caspe, whose first-ever TV pitch was ABC's Happy Endings, signed his very first overall deal — with Sony — back in 2011. He joins a comedy stable at UTV that also includes Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan (who came over from 20th TV), Mike Schur (The Good Place), Tina Fey, Alan Yang (Master of None, Forever) and Lorne Michaels, among others.
Caspe, whose credits also include NBC's charming one-and-done comedy Marry Me and YouTube's short-lived Champaign ILL, secured the deal before the Writers Guild of America and the major talent agencies went to war over packaging fees and affiliate production. WME negotiated the deal before Caspe fired the agency in a show of support with the WGA. He is currently repped by Rise Management and Hirsch Wallerstein.