‘Devil’ made Col do it

Creator Carlson inks lucrative deal, will move from C-W

Fresh off the debut of his controversial new series “God, the Devil and Bob,” Matthew Carlson has signed a rich three-year, high-seven-figure overall deal with Columbia TriStar Television.

New pact moves Carlson over from Carsey-Werner, where he’s been based for the last five years.

Carlson will continue to serve as exec producer of “God” but on a non-exclusive basis. Thanks to the flexibility of animation production schedules, he’ll be able to continue with “God” while developing new projects for fall 2001.

Columbia TriStar Television president of production Helene Michaels said she was impressed by Carlson’s diverse credits. Carlson will develop both half-hours and hours for the studio.

“He’s a real writer,” Michaels said. “He can write movies, he can do edgier comedy, more realistic comedy. He’s real versatile.”

Michaels was an exec at New World in 1988 when Carlson joined “The Wonder Years” as an executive story editor.

“I’ve been a fan of his since then,” she said.

Carlson began developing “God, the Devil and Bob” — his first animated project — in 1998. Show premiered to strong reviews Thursday night on NBC and won its time period in homes, total viewers and adults 18-49.

“God,” which settles into the tough Tuesday night 8:30 p.m. timeslot this week, has been boycotted by nine NBC affiliates around the country.

Carlson’s other credits include creating and exec producing the NBC sitcom “Men Behaving Badly” and the ABC comedy “Townies,” both at Carsey-Werner.

Prior to Carsey-Werner, Carlson spent time at ABC Prods., developing the projects “Camp Wilder” and “The Boys Are Back.” He began writing for TV in 1987 on a Disney Channel pilot.

Carlson is repped by CAA.

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

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