'Russian Doll' Co-Creator Signs Overall TV Deal at Disney's Fox 21

Leslye Headland - Getty - H 2019
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland has found a new studio home.

The writer and director has signed a multiyear overall deal with Fox 21 Television Studios. Under the pact with the Disney Television Studios unit, she will create, develop and direct projects for multiple platforms.

"Every once in a very rare while, you watch some TV show or movie, and it’s so special that you think how lucky you’d be if you got to work with its creator. And rarer still is when you meet them and you can’t believe that they are better than you could’ve even  imagined. That’s our experience with Leslye," Fox 21 TV Studios president Bert Salke said Tuesday in a statement. "Her incredible work in both film and TV is surpassed only by how awesome she is in real life."

The deal represents a homecoming of sorts for Headland: Her first TV writing job was in 2010 on FX's Terriers, which was produced by Fox 21.

"I am thrilled to be working with Bert, Jane [Francis], Dana [Walden] and Craig [Hunegs] and the Fox 21 team," said Headland. "They championed me and helped me land my first job as a staff writer about ten years ago. I was an unpublished playwright, and they fought to get me a seat at the table. It has been an ambition of mine to return to the fold and develop my personal and passion projects with them. I am so excited to get started and grateful for this incredible opportunity."

Headland co-created the Netflix breakout Russian Doll with star Natasha Lyonne and Amy Poehler and directed four of its eight episodes. The series has landed on numerous year-end lists of the best series of 2019 (including that of The Hollywood Reporter chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg). Headland's writing credits also include the features Bachelorette, Sleeping With Other People and the 2014 About Last Night, and she has directed episodes of Showtime's Black Monday and SMILF and Paramount Network's Heathers, among others. Headland is repped by Michael Sugar at Sugar23 and Steve Younger at Myman Greenspan, and by UTA for directing. 

Headland joins a roster of creatives at Fox 21 that also includes Tom McCarthy (Spotlight, 13 Reasons Why), former Girls executive producer Jenni Konner and The Affair showrunner Sarah Treem. The studio is home to FX's Pose, Mayans MC and American Crime Story (all with FX Productions), USA's Queen of the South, National Geographic's Genius anthology and the FX/Hulu pilot The Old Man, starring Jeff Bridges, among others.