Lorne Michaels Exits Paramount for Universal Film Deal, Extends NBC Pacts (Exclusive)

Lorne Michaels attends the "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" 2016 - Getty-H 2018
D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

The 'SNL' boss has set the comedy 'Baby Nurse,' to star Leslie Jones and Colin Jost, as his first movie under the new pact.

Lorne Michaels will be entirely under the NBCUniversal umbrella.

The Saturday Night Live kingmaker, who spent nearly 30 years at Paramount Pictures for his film endeavors, has left the Viacom-owned studio for Universal Pictures, where he and his Broadway Video have inked a first-look deal. The move is a logical one given Michael's long-standing relationship with NBCUniversal on the TV side. Erin David, his longtime collaborator, will oversee the film division there.

In addition, Michaels has renewed his television deals. He has signed a new multiyear pact for SNL, with sources indicating that the mega-producer plans to remain in the job at least until he hits the 50-year mark (that'd be in 2025, since the NBC mainstay celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015). Michaels also has extended his NBC primetime deal, where he executive produces the half-hour comedy A.P. Bio along with Seth Meyers.

The first film being developed under Michaels’ new pact with Universal is Baby Nurse, an original comedy written by Austin Winsberg, who penned The Sound of Music Live! for NBC. SNL castmembers Leslie Jones and Colin Jost are attached to star in the movie. Described as having the tone of Miss Congeniality, Baby Nurse centers on a special agent assigned to the most humbling undercover role in the history of the FBI. Michaels will produce alongside executive producer Jost, who serves as SNL head writer and "Weekend Update" co-host.   

"Lorne Michaels is already such a vital part of the NBCUniversal family, so we are thrilled to formalize our long-standing relationship with him on the film side of his company," Peter Cramer, president of production at Universal, said Wednesday in a statement. "We look forward to collaborating with Lorne and his fantastic team as he continues his unparalleled run of success in producing quality, all-audience entertainment."

Added Michaels: "NBCUniversal has been my home for many years, and I’m pleased to continue making films and working with Ron [Meyer], Jeff [Shell], Donna [Langley] and Peter [Cramer]." 

Beyond SNL, Michaels serves as executive producer of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers on NBC, as well as IFC’s Documentary Now! and Portlandia. His feature credits as a producer include Mean Girls, Baby MamaWayne’s WorldTommy Boy and Three Amigos, which he produced and co-wrote with Steve Martin and Randy Newman.

Michaels and his Broadway Video are repped by CAA and Hansen Jacobson. Winberg is repped by CAA and Underground.