5:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Passage' Boss Inks Eight-Figure Overall Deal Renewal With 20th TV
20th Century Fox Television is showing faith in Liz Heldens.
The Passage showrunner has renewed her overall deal with the studio behind the Fox genre drama. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the three-year pact is in the eight-figure range.
Under the deal, which is effective immediately, Heldens will continue to serve as showrunner on The Passage — which is set to bow Jan. 14 on Fox — as well as develop new projects for the studio. (Watch a trailer for The Passage, below.)
"Liz Heldens is one of the great character-based dramatic writers working today, and getting a new overall for her exclusive services was a huge priority for Dana Walden and me,” 20th TV president of creative affairs Jonnie Davis said Monday in a statement. "She is creating perhaps the biggest show of the year for us and for Fox in The Passage, an exciting sci-fi thriller based on the best-selling books that has an incredibly compelling and emotional relationship at its core. She’s knocked this project out of the park in every way and we can’t wait for audiences to see it. But most of all, we cannot say enough good things about Liz and we’re over the moon that she’s decided to make this studio her creative home for many years to come."
This is Heldens' second overall deal since moving from Sony Pictures Television to 20th TV with a two-year pact in 2016. Before her stint at Sony, Heldens spent eight years in a similar deal with Universal Television. During that run, Heldens created Mercy, Deception and Camp. Before entering the development space, Heldens was a writer on NBC's Friday Night Lights. She created her first pilot for Fox in 2000 with Damaged Goods before working on Boston Public, North Shore and Pepper Dennis.
"I am thrilled to continue my collaboration with Jonnie Davis and the fantastic team at 20th," Heldens said. "Dana Walden gave me my very first job in television and has been incredibly supportive over the years, always championing my vision. I look forward to developing exciting projects that will engage new audiences, and I cannot wait for people to see The Passage."
During her time with 20th TV, Heldens worked on Fox's Seth MacFarlane live-action dramedy The Orville and segued to the vampire drama The Passage, which is based on author Justin Cronin's best-selling trilogy and was redeveloped after narrowly missing a series order last season. Heldens is executive producing alongside Ridley Scott and writer-director Matt Reeves. She is repped by WME and attorney Ken Richman.
Heldens becomes the latest producer to ink an overall deal with 20th TV, which will become a Disney property once the Mouse House's $72 billion asset buy from Fox clears regulatory hurdles. She joins Warren Littlefield (The Handmaid's Tale), Lee Daniels (Empire) and Liz Meriwether (New Girl) and more at the studio.