Regency lands ‘Middle’ man

Holland deal closes less than 48 hours before Emmy win

Emmy-winner Todd Holland has sealed a two-year exclusive deal with Regency TV to direct, create and executive produce primetime series.

Holland, who picked up the golden trophy Sunday night for directing a comedy series (“Malcolm in the Middle”), is coming off a one-year pact with the production house.

Under the new deal, pegged in the low seven-figures, Holland will continue directing but focus more of his efforts on creating and producing new projects.

The Holland pact also represents incoming Regency TV prexy Peter Aronson’s first major deal since joining the boutique production house last month.

“We were really fortunate to get this deal,” Aronson said. “Directors of his caliber, who really add value to the set, are rare in this business. It’s clear he brings a real vision to projects he’s involved in.”

Besides Holland, Regency has a deal in place with “Malcolm” creator Linwood Boomer, who also picked up an Emmy (for writing in a comedy series).

Holland’s deal had been in the works at Regency for some time, but finally closed Friday night — less than 48 hours before Holland won the Emmy.

“They have a legacy over there, started by Gail (Berman), of simply supporting talent and just getting the creative process,” Holland said of Regency. “I couldn’t be happier to be in business with Pete and Regency. I watched them nurture ‘Malcolm’ and protect it. I would not want to be anywhere else.”

Holland is developing “Nightingale” with Fox for a potential midseason berth. The drama, which he’d exec produce and direct, follows the story of a woman who loses her husband in an auto accident but begins receiving subtle messages from him in the afterworld.

“It’s about what happens to everyone as you get a little bit of life under your belt,” he said. “We’ve received initial good feedback. We’re trying to tailor to Fox’s scheduling needs.”

Holland is also developing with Mike Werb (“Face/Off”) the half-hour single-camera comedy “Dinner at 8,” based on Werb’s family. And he’s in talks with Regency TV’s sister film studio New Regency about directing a feature.

“Arnon (Milchan) would love for me to do a movie for him,” he said. “We’re trying to find the right one. … But I want to have a good time making my next movie. I find I’m suited to television in a crazy way. My level of adrenaline fits the medium.”

In the meantime, Holland is in the midst of directing nine segs of “Malcolm” this season. He also serves as a co-exec producer on the series.

“‘Malcolm’ is unbelievably ambitious visually,” he said. “It’s tremendous fun for a comedy. You get to use every toy you can think to use camera-wise.”

Holland’s other credits include the films “The Waterboy” and “The Negotiator,” as well as the series “Friends,” “Felicity” and “Tracey Takes On.” He also served time on “The Larry Sanders Show” as both director and a co-producer.

He won an Emmy in 1998 for his work on “Larry Sanders.”

Holland is repped by Endeavor and attorney Bob Getman.

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