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Julie Plec is the latest showrunner to make a move.
The prolific writer, producer and showrunner behind the Vampire Diaries trilogy and multiple other series is moving her overall deal from her longtime home at Warner Bros. TV to Universal TV.
The pact, which sources say is for four years and valued at north of $60 million all-in, will see Plec create and develop new projects for the NBCUniversal-owned studio and for multiple platforms.
Universal TV won over Plec after a months-long courting process in which the writer-producer (and director) took meetings across town with multiple studios and streamers. Sources say she was high on Netflix’s want list, but Universal TV stepped up with a better deal. With the Universal TV pact, Plec will expand the scope of her production banner, My So-Called Company. In addition to writing and creating, she will continue to supervise other writers.
“Six months ago we made a target wish list of talented creators we really wanted to work with. Julie Plec was at the very top of that list,” Universal TV president Pearlena Igbokwe said Thursday in a statement. “With all of the options available to her, Julie chose Universal Television. We are overjoyed and can’t stop smiling! Julie is an expert storyteller who has created characters that have left an indelible mark on the audience. The sky’s the limit for this new collaboration.”
The news arrives as Plec begins to spread her wings beyond genre dramas for The CW with fare that includes The Girls on the Bus — which scored a straight-to-series order at Netflix — and a script for a family drama, Mrs. Thompson, to NBC.
“I’m thrilled to embark on a new journey with Pearlena and the group of extraordinary women who are ruling the world at Universal Television,” said Plec. “They’ve made it abundantly clear just how much opportunity there is at the studio right now, with the launch of Peacock and their active relationships with the other streamers, not to mention the broadcast opportunities. I love making television that is both thrilling and emotionally powerful, and I look forward to the adventure ahead at my new home. I am also grateful for my current home, WBTV, and look forward to continuing to nourish the shows we happily built together over the last decade.”
Plec’s Vampire Diaries (which she co-created alongside Kevin Williamson) has been an instrumental show for The CW, helping to redefine the younger-focused broadcaster after it was rebranded from The WB Network. The series has become a trilogy of sorts, delivering the spinoffs The Originals (which ended) and Legacies (renewed for its third season). In addition to recently adding directing to her skill set, Plec also executive produces The CW’s Roswell, which is already renewed for its third season. She started her career as a development exec working on Williamson’s Scream with Wes Craven before moving to the writers room. Plec has also worked with Williamson on Dawson’s Creek.
Plec becomes the latest writer-producer to move her overall deal as media giants look for proven showrunners who can juggle numerous projects as they look to program for multiple platforms and draw viewers to new subscription platforms.
At Universal TV, Plec joins a roster of producers including Lorne Michaels, Dick Wolf, Tina Fey, Mike Schur, Nahnatchka Khan, Larry Wilmore and Seth MacFarlane, with the latter having exited his longtime home at 20th TV for a sprawling deal with all of NBCUniversal’s studios.
Plec is repped by Management 360 and Felker Toczek.
Listen to Plec open up about the state of the industry, the competition from studios and streamers to land overall deals with creators and more during this October interview with The Hollywood Reporter podcast TV’s Top 5.
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