Toynton deal is to develop, direct at 20th


Veteran TV director Ian Toynton has inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television.

Under the mid-six-figure pact, which begins in May, Toynton will develop new projects for the studio. He also will direct episodes of 20th TV series as well as a pilot that might come out of his development.

20th TV president Gary Newman said execs were so impressed with Toynton's work on two Fox dramas -- the studio's "24" as well as on the Fox/Warner Bros. TV soap "The O.C." -- that they recruited him to direct 20th TV pilot "Supreme Courtships," a soapy comedic drama for Fox about the lives of Supreme Court clerks and the judges for whom they work.

"More than anything, it's his versatility as a director," Newman said. "He can go from doing a great job on a show full of action and intensity like '24' to a show with romance and humor."

Toynton most recently worked on "O.C." as director/co-executive producer and helmed the show's series finale, which aired Wednesday night.

He first got in business with 20th TV in 2003 when he was invited to direct for "24." The first episode Toynton helmed earned him an Emmy nomination. "It was a great start of the relationship," he said.

Before coming to the U.S., Toynton worked in television in his native England where, in addition to directing, he developed several projects. His deal with 20th TV marks his first stab at development on this side of the pond, something he had been thinking of doing for awhile.

"I have a really good working relationship with 20th Century Fox Television," he said. "It seemed like the ideal opportunity to go into a position where I can develop, and the timing seemed absolutely right."

Toynton, whose directing credits also include the NBC series "Crossing Jordan" and "Providence," is repped by Paradigm.