Writing team at 20th TV for laughs


Comedy writing duo Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser have inked a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television.

Under the seven-figure pact, the two will develop and produce new comedy projects for the studio as well as work on existing 20th TV series.

This marks the first development deal for Silverstein and Jeser, who worked with 20th TV on the single-camera comedies "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" and "Greg the Bunny."

"They are extremely talented people," 20th TV president Dana Walden said. "They are creatively adventurous, they are willing to take risks, and they're not interested in doing the conventional safe half-hour."

Walden credited 20th TV's head of comedy Quan Phung for tracking Silverstein and Jeser for the past two years and jumping at the opportunity when they became available.

It is not clear which 20th TV series Silverstein and Jeser will join, but Walden said she views them as "incredible utility players."

"We can put them on a startup series, and they will be extremely valuable, and we can put them on a flagship series, and they will also be valuable there," she said.

Coming off Comedy Central's animated reality spoof "Drawn Together," which Silverstein and Jeser created and exec produced, the two seem a good fit for 20th TV's staple of animated series on the air and in development. And the duo's friendship with "Family Guy" and "American Dad" creator Seth MacFarlane opens the possibility for the two to join one of the two shows. MacFarlane also exec produces "The Winner," 20th TV's midseason live-action comedy.

It was the "amazing" experience working with 20th on "Richter" and "Greg," as well as the studio's roster of comedy series, that attracted Silverstein and Jeser to the idea of teaming up with 20th TV, Silverstein said.

"They are the studio with the best comedies -- 'Family Guy,' 'The Winner,' 'How I Met Your Mother,' " he said. "These are the shows we watch and love and want to be part of."

20th TV's brass' openness to experimenting with the comedy genre also played into Silverstein and Jeser's decision to go there, Jeser said.

"We want to work with a studio that is open to new kinds of comedy -- animation, reality sketch," he said.

Silverstein and Jeser served as co-executive producers and showrunners of Comedy Central's "Crank Yankers." Their writing credits also include the comedies "Action" and "3rd Rock From the Sun."

Silverstein and Jeser are repped by UTA and attorney Robert Offer.