'Men' duo, Hurwitz in Sony pact


"Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz is launching a company with "Two and a Half Men" executive producers Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum.

The company, which is yet to be named, has inked a rich three-year pod deal with Sony Pictures TV. The pact is slated to begin in June, when the Tannenbaums' current deal with Warner Bros. TV is up.

"I've always been incredibly impressed with Eric and Kim's integrity and professionalism, and truthfully, I would like to join their relationship in any context," Hurwitz said. "I've even offered to help raise their baby, but they both feel — and I respect this — that that's really their baby."

The Tannenbaums and Hurwitz are longtime friends. The three first worked together at Michael Ovitz's Artists Television Group, where Eric Tannenbaum was president and Kim Tannenbaum was executive vp. The two signed Hurwitz in a development deal, under which he executive produced "The Ellen Show."

"This is a dream scenario," Eric Tannenbaum said. "Mitch is a person we've talked about partnering with for a number of years, and we couldn't be more thrilled."

Sources said that the Tannenbaums' parting ways with WBTV, where they launched their Tannenbaum Co. in 2002, was amicable. In addition to "Men," during their stint there the two executive produced such comedy series as CBS' "Center of the Universe," WB Network's "Run of the House" and ABC's upcoming "Notes From the Underbelly."

"As hard as it is to leave our longtime relationship at Warner Bros., coming back to Sony with all of our friends is the perfect situation," Kim Tannenbaum said.

The deal with SPT marks a homecoming for the Tannenbaums. Eric Tannenbaum was president of then-Columbia Tri- Star TV, where he shepherded such hits as "Mad About You" and "Dawson's Creek," while Kim Tannenbaum was senior vp comedy series development at the studio. It also reunites them with SPT co-president of programming and production Jamie Erlicht, who was a member of Tannenbaum's CTTV team and followed him to ATG.

"Professionally, it's rare to never that you see a production company with this depth of experience and diversity of talent," Erlicht said. "Personally, I've waited six years for the opportunity to get back into business with Eric and Kim, and Mitch's incredible skill set makes this a dream opportunity."

The deal with Hurwitz and the Tannenbaums is part of SPT's big push in comedy in the past year that led to five series picked up at various networks and several comedy pilots already ordered for fall consideration, including Hurwitz's promising "The Thick of It," which he co-wrote with Richard Day and is executive producing.

"Bringing this pod into our company represents our continued commitment to success and a new cornerstone of our comedy strategy," said Zack Van Amburg, co-president of programming and production at SPT.

At SPT, the Tannenbaums will join another former SPT executive-turned-producer, Sarah Timberman, who also was based at WBTV before coming to SPT in 2005.

During its three-season run on Fox, "Arrested" collected the Emmy for best comedy series in 2004 and an Emmy for Hurwitz for penning the show's pilot.

Hurwitz, Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum are repped by CAA.

Hurwitz additionally is repped by attorney Jim Jackoway. The Tannenbaums additionally are repped by attorney Ernie Del.
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