The room where it happens for Thomas Kail will be located at 20th Century Fox TV.
The Hamilton director and Emmy-nominated producer Jennifer Todd have signed an overall TV deal at the Disney Television Studios unit. The duo also have formed a television company that will develop projects across all platforms under Kail’s Old 320 Sycamore banner.
The deal actually began in February, but it does not include the filmed version of Hamilton that premiered July 3 on Disney+. Kail has a preexisting relationship with Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden, having directed Fox’s Grease: Live when she was head of that network and co-created, directed and executive produced FX’s Fosse/Verdon.
“I was worried that my quote about the great Tommy Kail might seem hyperbolic, but everything I’m about to say about him is undeniably true, starting with: He’s a genius,” says Walden. “Throughout our time working together, we’ve watched Tommy mount a masterful live television event with Grease: Live, for which he won an Emmy; then, he turned to the spectacular, multi-award-winning drama, Fosse/Verdon. And, as Disney+ subscribers experienced last weekend, Tommy’s film version of his and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breathtaking Hamilton is a masterpiece that will be celebrated by generations to come.
“Tommy’s incredible degree of perfectionism, high level of specificity and brilliant creative vision run throughout all of these great projects. Craig Hunegs, Carolyn Cassidy and I feel so lucky to be partnering with Tommy and the very talented Jen Todd, and we look forward to seeing what they do together.”
Says Kail, “Jennifer and I have been looking to find a project together for years. Now, an even better thing happened: We have joined forces. This gives us the chance to find many projects to make together with ABC/Disney, where Dana and her team have built an ideal landscape for us to work.”
Todd’s credits as a producer include feature films The Way Back, Live by Night and Jason Bourne, Showtime’s series City on a Hill and the 2017 and 2018 Oscar telecasts. “I am thrilled at the opportunity to partner with the brilliant Tommy Kail in a television company,” she says. “The chance to work with him and bring new stories to the ABC/Disney platforms is a dream come true.”
The deal covers the pair’s TV development only. Kail will separately produce films under his Old 320 Sycamore Pictures banner. Kate Sullivan serves as head of development for both companies, with Kelly Applegate serving as creative executive. Todd’s eponymous company has a first-look feature deal at MGM. Brittany Hapner oversees projects for Jennifer Todd Pictures and will work with both companies.
Kail and Todd are the latest additions to a stacked roster of creatives at 20th TV that also includes Pose creator Steven Canals, Modern Family‘s Steve Levitan, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman, Liz Meriwether, Jason Winer, Octavia Spencer, Drew Goddard, I. Marlene King and Amy Holden Jones.