Maverick TV dabbles with Fox 21


Guy Oseary's Maverick Television has inked a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV's alternative production arm Fox 21.

Under the one-year pact, Fox 21 will have first crack at Maverick TV's scripted and unscripted development.

In the two years since Maverick TV was launched under president Michael Rosenberg, the company landed its first scripted series with FX's "The Riches" and unscripted show with MTV's "I'm From Rolling Stone."

Fox 21 senior vp Jane Francis said she has been discussing a possible collaboration with Oseary and Rosenberg since she read and was "really impressed" with the "Riches" pilot script.

"We have similar taste," Francis said. "Their (scripted) shows have a great offbeat sensibility that we as a studio have. They also dabble in reality, which is a great thing. They dabble in everything as we do too."

Rosenberg and Oseary also were drawn to Fox 21 by the common elements in their development strategies.

"What we focus on and what they focus on is similar," Rosenberg said. "It's reality and cable hours, and that's the world I want to live in."

Maverick already is busy developing new projects, including a dark single-camera family comedy with a twist from "Riches" creator Dmitry Lipkin and his wife, writer-director Colette Burson, who penned one episode of the show this season.

After being developed internally with Lipkin and star Eddie Izzard, "Riches" was set up at FX and laid off at Fox TV Studios. The series, which also stars Minnie Driver, recently completed its first season and has been picked up for a second.

On the unscripted side, "Rolling Stone" airs in Australia, and local versions of the show are in the works in several countries.

Maverick TV most recently had a first-look deal with FtvS, which stemmed from the two companies' partnership on "Riches." Maverick TV still has several projects in development at FtvS, including a drama based on the book "Inside Job: Deep Undercover as a Corporate Spy," by Ken Bucchi, which is being written by Doug Palau (NBC's "Kingpin").

Additionally, Maverick TV is shepherding a scripted comedy for MTV written by Joel Stillerman, who also served as an executive producer on "Rolling Stone," as well as a dysfunctional family drama at Nickelodeon's the N from up-and-coming writer David Berenson.

While the company's development portfolio is expanding, its size won't.

"We're not going to get any bigger," Rosenberg said. "In an environment like this, it's a small, forward-thinking company that has the ability to react and maneuver and stay creative."

Rosenberg's TV team includes two executives: Cheri Wozniak, who oversees unscripted development, and Jen Chambers, director of development on the scripted side.