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Ron Moore is the latest showrunner on the move.
The Outlander and For All Mankind exec producer has inked a rich, multiple-year overall deal with Disney-owned 20th Television. Sources say Moore, who had spent the past decade under an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, quietly inked his new Disney deal last summer.
Under the multiyear agreement, which sources estimated is worth in the eight-figure range all in, Moore and his Tall Ship Productions banner will create and develop new projects across the Disney portfolio. His first project under the pact is the Disney+ series Swiss Family Robinson, which he’s working on alongside Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians).
Moore, who also spearheaded Syfy’s beloved take on Battlestar Galactica and its multiple offshoots, received multiple lucrative offers from other streamers and studios but opted to leave money on the table to sign with 20th TV. Sony TV, sources say, was among those who pursued a new deal with Moore. The independent studio, for whom Moore has delivered both Starz’s Outlander and Apple’s For All Mankind, offered a more lucrative deal but Moore ultimately opted to sign with 20th TV and pursue a his longtime passion for Disney.
As part of his sprawling deal, Moore’s longtime Tall Ship collaborators Maril Davis and Ben McGinnis will make the move with him to Disney. Moore will continue to serve as an exec producer on For All Mankind and Outlander as both shows were carved out of the 20th pact.
20th TV’s Carolyn Cassidy spearheaded Moore’s deal last summer during her tenure as president of the Fox-turned-Disney studio. (As part of Disney’s December reorganization, Cassidy now serves as exec vp development under new president and former ABC topper Karey Burke.)
“Ron’s as passionate about Disney parks, characters and IP as our head of drama Michelle Mendelovitz was about bringing him to the studio, and when he said ‘yes’ we were all thrilled beyond belief,” said Cassidy. “His beautiful work on Battlestar Galactica, Outlander and For All Mankind are well known for their artistry and intelligence, their unforgettable characters and big, broad appeal. And it’s been so exciting for Karey, Michelle and me to see how inspired he is by the Disney canon. Swiss Family Robinson is just the first project he has up his sleeve and we’re so glad he’s made 20th his creative home.”
A sci-fi legend, Moore started his career on Star Trek: The Next Generation and counts Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, HBO’s Carnivale and Syfy’s beloved Battlestar Galactica among his credits. He also wrote a Star Wars live-action series for ABC and George Lucas in 2013 that never moved forward. The Disney pact could afford Moore an opportunity to revisit the idea of writing for Star Wars.
Under Moore’s oversight, Battlestar earned a prestigious Peabody Award and two official AFI selections. Moore earned a drama writing Emmy nomination for his work on the series and took home Emmy gold for the show’s webisodes in 2008. Under his purview, he has helped adapt Diana Gabaldon’s sprawling Outlander book series as a global hit for Lionsgate-backed premium cable network Starz. The time-hopping drama recently started production on its sixth season.
“I’d like to thank [Disney’s] Dana Walden, Carolyn Cassidy and Michelle Mendelovitz, and now Karey Burke, for inviting me to join their amazing team at 20th Television and Disney,” Moore said. “I grew up loving Disney movies, TV shows, and theme parks, and I still do to this day, so the chance to work on some of those same classic titles like Swiss Family Robinson was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. I had an amazing experience at Sony Pictures Television and I’d like to thank everyone at Sony for their steadfast support and personal friendship over the last decade. I’m also very happy that I’ll be able to continue my involvement with both Outlander and For All Mankind while Matt Roberts and Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi take over the showrunning duties on each project respectively.”
With For All Mankind, which returns Feb. 19 with its second season, Moore reunited with his former Sony TV studio chiefs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. The space drama has already been renewed for a third season.
For Sony, Moore becomes the latest showrunner to depart. Sony faces an uphill battle as an independent studio in an era where networks and streamers are vertically aligned with their in-house studios as ownership continues to be paramount. Moore joins the likes of Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Preacher), Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs) and David Caspe (Happy Endings), who have decamped Sony TV in the past few years. In a bid to offset those departures, Sony TV has been aggressive in competing for other top showrunners and has signed deals with Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Spider-Man, The Lego Movie) and Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon (Homeland) while maintaining a stable that includes Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad).
Moore is repped by CAA.
Ron Moore will be the guest during the Feb. 19 episode of The Hollywood Reporter podcast TV’s Top 5. Listen and subscribe here.
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