11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Octavia Spencer Inks Overall Deal With Disney's 20th TV
Octavia Spencer is putting down roots at Disney's 20th Century Fox Television.
The Oscar winner (The Help) has signed a three-year pod deal with the studio and launched a production company, Orit Entertainment, with partner Brian Clisham. Under the pact, Orit will produce television and film projects across all genres with a focus on inspiring and uplifting fare. Those projects will be in the same vein of the feature films and series in which she has starred.
"I decided to partner with Brian because, as an agent, he was instrumental in shaping my career," Spencer said Monday in a statement. "He has always understood my desire to work with a diverse group of talent both in front of and behind the scenes. I trust his taste and his counsel and know he will thrive in this new role. We are always on the same page and most importantly, have a lot fun!"
Clisham started his career in the Endeavor mailroom in 2006 and was an assistant and an agent in the talent department at WME for 13 years.
"It’s no surprise to me that Octavia went from a '20-year overnight success' with The Help, to a bona fide multihyphenate," said Clisham. "Octavia doesn’t just think like an actor — she sees every project through the lens of a producer, studio executive, awards consultant, cinematographer ... you name it. Her creative and business acumen have led her to this moment, and I’m honored she wants to partner with me in this new chapter to continue the success we’ve built together over the past nine years.”
Spencer's credits include starring in and executive producing Apple's eight-episode drama series Truth Be Told, as well as the Netflix limited series Madam CJ Walker, which is also exec produced by LeBron James. She also is developing a Jonestown drama at HBO alongside Vince Gilligan and Michelle MacLaren. On the film side, Spencer next stars in and exec produces Ma, Luce and the upcoming The Witches. She also has voice roles in The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle and Disney's Onward. As an executive producer, her film credits include best picture Oscar winner Greenbook, Fruitvale Station and Small Town Crime.
"Octavia is so impressive. Not only is she a spectacular talent as a performer, but she has also amassed a body of work that speaks to her taste in material and creative and commercial instincts," said 20th TV president of creative affairs Jonnie Davis. "Every project she signs on for is interesting and unexpected, and when she told us she and Brian wanted to develop projects for television, we were instantly on board to be their studio. We think her company is really going to make a mark."
Spencer becomes the latest producer to ink a deal with the now-Disney-owned 20th Century Fox TV. She joins recent signings including Bob's Burgers co-showrunner Nora Smith, Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar (Fresh Off the Boat, Speechless), I. Marlene King (Pretty Little Liars) and Drew Goddard (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Spencer and Orit are repped by WME and Jackoway Austen.