USA signs trio of comic writer-producers

Studio mining mirth

Studios USA has inked three multi-year development deals with comedy writer-producers Eric Gilliland, Erik Moe and David Zuckerman.

The production house is shoring up its stable of comedy writers in the belief that the embattled sitcom genre soon may make a comeback.

“It certainly was always our intention to grow the comedy presence of the studio, and last year we made three or four deals,” said Studios USA TV prexy David Kissinger. “This is not the end of it. We’re looking for a few other pretty significant deals to add to the stable.”

Laffer lift

Kissinger is convinced that the comedy form will be revived over the next few years.

“It doesn’t take a genius to say the business is so cyclical,” he said. “The next likely form to have a rebirth is the half-hour.”

As part of his new deal, Gilliland will join the new CBS comedy “Welcome to New York” as exec producer. He most recently served as a consulting producer on Fox’s “That ’70s Show.”

His credits include serving time as exec producer on “Roseanne.” He also created short-lived ABC comedy “That’s Life,” worked as a producer on “Nurses” and was story editor of “The Wonder Years.”

Moe’s background include stints as a Clio Award-winning advertising writer (for clients such as Energizer batteries, Budweiser and Pizza Hut) while working with San Francisco-based agency Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein.

He also wrote the Fox pilots “Starbase 13” and “Applewood 911” and the WB pilot “Wheat Kings.” He directed and co-wrote the indie feature “No Sleep ‘Til Madison” and penned the humor book “Tales of a Young Urban Failure.”

Zuckerman was an executive producer on the Fox animated sitcom “Family Guy.” Other credits include co-exec producer on another animated Fox laffer, “King of the Hill.” Zuckerman also created Fox’s “The Last Frontier” and co-produced the NBC comedy “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”

“These are writers whose careers I’ve been following for a long time,” Kissinger said.

Gilliland is repped by Endeavor and attorney Jeanne Newman; Moe is repped by Endeavor and attorney David Weber of Bloom, Hergott, Diemer and Cook; and Zuckerman is repped by the Kaplan Stahler Gumer Agency and attorney Newman.

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