20th re-signs utility man Janetti

Writer-producer with 'Family' ties heads back 'home'

Comedy writer-producer Gary Janetti has inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

Under the seven-figure pact, which has an option for a third year, Janetti will join 20th TV's "Family Guy" as a consultant and will develop new projects for the studio, including a multicamera comedy with "Family" creator Seth MacFarlane.

Janetti was based at 20th TV in the late 1990s when "Family" was developed. He worked on the Fox animated comedy for its first three seasons until it was canceled in 2003. Janetti then moved to NBC Universal, where he joined the hit comedy "Will & Grace," and developed for the past few years.

"It is strange to go back to 'Family Guy' now, when it's so incredibly popular, while at the time not a lot of people knew about it," Janetti said. "For me, 20th is the only place that always felt like home, and they always develop the kinds of shows I watch on television."

20th TV chairman Dana Walden said she and fellow chairman Gary Newman loved Janetti's development during his previous stint at the studio and were "upset" when he left to go to NBC Uni.

"I always felt that his projects were ahead of their time," Walden said. "He is funny (and) so original. He has very quick wit and a good sense of comedy and crafting interesting characters."

After the elimination of about 100 TV overall deals during the WGA strike, the major TV studios have been cautious about signing new pacts.

"We can no longer sign deals with people that are strictly show- or development-driven," Walden said. "We made the deal with Janetti because he could work with Seth and because we believe in his development. He represents the type of very versatile utility players we want to be in business with."

Janetti, who will be writing the multicamera sitcom he is developing with MacFarlane, most recently penned and executive produced NBC's comedy pilot "The Mastersons of Manhattan" last season.

He is repped by Endeavor and attorney Patti Felker.