Steinberg, NBC Universal in rich development pact


Hank Steinberg is setting up shop at NBC.

The "Without a Trace" creator/executive producer has inked a three-year overall deal with NBC Universal TV Studio to develop new projects for the studio.

The high-seven-figure pact, believed to be the richest for pure development, is set to begin in June, when Steinberg's current overall deal with Warner Bros. TV is up. Steinberg had been at WBTV since 2002, when his first pilot script, the missing-persons drama "Trace," was picked up to pilot and later to series by CBS.

Sources said NBC aggressively went after Steinberg when he became available.

NBC Uni TV Studio president Angela Bromstad said she and her team had their eye on Steinberg for several years.

"Now we're so happy to have the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about our respective goals and to have this creative marriage," she said. "We can't wait to start developing with him."
NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly worked with Steinberg four years ago when Steinberg penned the telefilm "RFK" for FX, where Reilly was entertainment president.

"I was really impressed with his creativity and instincts," Reilly said. "Since then, he has consistently demonstrated that his talents result in quality television, and we look forward to a fruitful partnership with Hank at NBC."

As he develops for NBC Uni TV, Steinberg will continue to serve as an executive producer on "Trace," which WBTV is co-producing with Jerry Bruckheimer TV. His second pilot for WBTV, hostage drama "The Nine," which he co-wrote with his sister K.J. Steinberg, was picked up to series by ABC. It launched in the fall to strong critical acclaim but struggled in the ratings. Currently on hiatus, the series is slated to return to the schedule in the spring.

Steinberg praised WBTV for giving him his start in the series TV business.

"I've had a fantastic working relationship with (president) Peter Roth, (executive vp) Len Goldstein and everybody at Warner Bros. over the past five years," Steinberg said. "That's a relationship that will continue as I will continue to be involved in 'Without a Trace' and 'The Nine.' "

At the end of the day, NBC presented him with an offer he couldn't refuse.

"I was very impressed of the direction they're going at both the network and the studio, and I felt that there is a great opportunity for me to continue to grow and try new things," he said.

In his development for NBC Uni TV, Steinberg is looking to develop "character-driven shows, in all likelihood with a high concept behind it."

Steinberg, whose credits also include the HBO original movie "61*," is repped by Endeavor and attorney Michael Gendler.