Deals shine on ‘Dark’ creator

MacHale inks deals with Nick, S&S, Showtime

D.J. MacHale, the creative force behind former Nickelodeon series “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” has locked up a handful of new deals, including pacts with Nickelodeon, Simon & Schuster Pocket Books and Showtime.

Nick has greenlit production on a pilot for live-action mystery series “The Strange Legacy of Cameron Cruz.” Story focuses on a 14-year-old who follows in his grandfather’s footsteps by becoming an investigator into the supernatural.

MacHale and Alec Griffith are the project’s creators, exec producers and writers. It is a co-production between Nickelodeon and Fireworks Television.

Under his Simon & Schuster Pocket deal, MacHale will pen a four-book young adult adventure series under the title “The Pendragon Adventures,” chronicling the exploits of a boy launched into a quest through space and time.

The first installment is skedded to be published early in 2002. MacHale retains TV and film rights.

At Showtime, MacHale is developing two-hour backdoor pilot “Among the Hidden,” based on a novel of the same name and to be produced through Viacom.

Suspense thriller is set in the near future, when in response to famine the government allows families to have no more than two children. Central character is a teenager who is a third child and therefore an outlaw.

MacHale is exec producing “Hidden,” along with his longtime producing partner Ned Kandel, of Broadway Network Television. Together the two created and exec produced “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” which aired on Nick for seven years ending in 1999.

Rob Wolken at Artists Management Group and attorney Peter Nelson of Nelson, Felker, Levine & Dern brokered all three deals.

MacHale’s camp is expected to be out pitching film and TV projects based on “Pendragon” in the coming weeks.

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