Barker banks 20th TV pact

Twentieth Century Fox Television has inked a multiyear development deal with Clive Barker’s Seraphim Films to develop and produce primetime series, telefilms and children’s programming.

The multimillion-dollar deal is part of an overall relationship that Twentieth’s parent News Corp. has with Barker. The writer-producer, best known for his horror/thriller novels, has a book deal through 2002 with News Corp.’s HarperCollins.

Barker’s first project for Twentieth will be a series of vidpics for sister company Fox Broadcasting Co. under the banner “Clive Barker’s Spirits and Shadows.” The first three, “Silo,” “Shock Cinema” and “Hoop Cinema,” are in development for the 1997-98 season. Each will be written by Barker in collaboration with other drama writers.

“Clive has proved himself one of the most talented and successful writers in any medium today, and we look forward to working with him on a wide range of projects,” Twentieth Century Fox Television president Sandy Grushow said.

Barker told Daily Variety he has been considering television for some time and that Fox seemed like the best home for his work.

“They’re open to a whole range of offbeat ideas and I think it will be a good marriage,” he stated.

Barker said that besides the telefilms, he has talked with Twentieth and Fox about prime time series, kids programming and even late night. Another plus, he said, will be the possibility of finding joint-ventures in his publishing deal with HarperCollins and News Corp.’s TV arms.

Barker’s most recent book was the 1996 novel “Sacrament.” On the movie front, he directed the 1995 “Lord of Illusions.” He also directed the 1987 cult film “Hellraiser,” which had three sequels, and exec produced the theatrical “Candyman.”

His other novels include “Weaveworld” and “The Great and Secret Show.” He also authored and illustrated the children’s fable “The Thief of Always” and a line of superhero comics for Marvel called “Razorline.”

Aside from their entry into TV, Barker’s Seraphim Films is involved in CD-ROMs, live theater, art and film production.

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