Rich Appel signs new 20th TV deal

Continuing as 'The Cleveland Show' showrunner

Veteran comedy writer-producer Rich Appel has inked a new three-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, extending his 15-year relationship with the studio.

Under the rich seven-figure pact, Appel, who co-created freshman Fox/20th TV animated comedy "The Cleveland Show," will continue as executive producer/showrunner on the "Family Guy" spinoff, which has been renewed for next season.

"What is special about him is his incredible leadership ability," 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. "He is a terrific showrunner, and he really sets the tone on a show that is exactly what you're looking for."

Appel first came to 20th in 1994, when he joined the studio's animated Fox comedy "The Simpsons" as a staff writer.

Since then, he has worked on most of the studio's animated shows ("Family Guy," "King of the Hill," "American Dad") and on several live-action 20th comedies, including "Bernie Mac" and "Kitchen Confidential." He has created two series: "Cleveland," which he co-created with Seth MacFarlane and Mike Henry, and the live-action "A.U.S.A."

"I'm excited to be working at 20th for the next couple of years or at least until I'm replaced by Jay Leno," Appel said, noting that he wrote the line three weeks ago.

On a more serious note, "If you're going to produce an animated show, there is no better studio to do it than 20th: they know quite intimately what is involved and how to develop those shows," said Appel, who was coming out of a "Cleveland" table read of Episode 16 in Season 2.

The episode features Carl Reiner and rappers and T-Pain, who are joining the series for the second season in recurring roles as members of Rallo's (Henry) entourage.

Other upcoming guest stars include's Black Eyed Peas bandmate Fergie, who appears in Sunday's episode, and Kanye West, who has a recurring bit.