1:58pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Vin Diesel Inks First-Look Deal at Universal Television
Vin Diesel is shifting gears.
The box-office star and his One Race Productions banner have inked a multiyear overall deal with Universal Television, NBC announced Wednesday.
Under the pact, Diesel will produce TV fare for the studio. The pact comes as Diesel has produced four of the films in the Fast and the Furious franchise and as the actor is prepping the eighth pic in the series. The actor has also produced features A Man Apart, The Chronicles of Riddick and Hitman, as well as documentaries including A War Hero and Life Is a Dream.
Diesel is perhaps best known as Dominic Toretto in the Fast films, which collectively have grossed nearly $3.9 billion.
One of the first offerings headed to market is a television series complement to Diesel's sci-fi franchise Riddick. The first movie, The Chronicles of Riddick, grossed $57 million back in 2004. The 2013 sequel earned $42 million.
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"In addition to being a huge star for our feature division, Vin is a true creative force as a producer. After sitting down with him and his team at One Race Television, it’s clear he will now also be an incredible asset to both the network and our television studio," said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke. "We feel really fortunate to be in business with not only an international powerhouse but a truly thoughtful and passionate producer."
As part of his pact, Diesel has brought on former Fox Broadcasting executive Shana C. Waterman (24: Live Another Day, Wayward Pines) as head of television. She will oversee development and production under this deal.
"I have dreamt about expanding the One Race brand into television and now we’ve found the perfect creative partners in Bob [Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman], Jen and the team at Universal Television," said Diesel. "Shana is an incredible addition to this team."
Diesel becomes the latest actor to explore the small screen via producing deals. He joins Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo and her former leading man Patrick Dempsey (both at ABC Studios); Halle Berry (CBS Television Studios); Bryan Cranston, Joel McHale and George Clooney (all at Sony Pictures Television); New Girl's Jake Johnson and Zooey Deschanel (both at 20th Century Fox Television); Charlize Theron, Steve Carell and Jessica Biel (Universal Cable Productions); and more.
Diesel is repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment and Felker Toczek.