Alley deal is a U turn

Kirstie Alley has entered into a multiyear deal with Universal encompassing features and television, with the actress to take up residence on the studio lot.

The agreement, announced jointly by Universal TV president Tom Thayer and Universal Pictures production chief Casey Silver, will make the “Cheers” star exclusive to the studio in terms of TV series.

Jim Nicolay, who has worked with Alley the past three years, will come along and oversee development for her.

Alley has spent the past six years on “Cheers,” picking up an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the Paramount Network TV sitcom. No specific series concept is attached to the actress at this time.

“Cheers” will conclude its 11-year run on NBC this May, and fellow co-stars Kelsey Grammer, George Wendt and John Ratzenberger have all set individual series deals — the first two for NBC and Ratzenberger at Fox Broadcasting Co. — since it was decided this season would be the show’s last call.

Alley starred in TriStar’s hit feature “Look Who’s Talking” and its sequel in addition to appearing in the movies “Shoot to Kill” (a Disney release) and “Madhouse” (Orion). She also co-hosted last year’s Primetime Emmy Awards and starred in the original miniseries “North & South,” due tobe continued by Warner Bros. TV and the Wolper Organization in the form of a six-hour miniseries for broadcast next season on ABC.

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