Messick masters deal with Fox TV Pictures

Producer to develop original movie and series under his Messick Films banner

Producer Kevin Messick has signed an exclusive 2-1/2-year pact with Fox Television Pictures, the TV movie production arm of Fox TV Studios.

Messick, who has produced such pics as the Sundance doc “American Pimp” and the feature “Truth or Consequences,” will develop and produce original movie and series programming under his Messick Films banner. He will work closely with Fox TV Pictures’ exec veep David Madden in developing projects for Fox’s broadcast and cable networks and other programmers.

“When I came to this job, I was looking to bring my feature experience to the television enterprise,” Madden said. “Kevin is someone who is thinking about transporting younger, fresher, edgier sensibilities to television, both in terms of ideas he’s interested in and the talent he will bring to the table.”

Messick’s deal with Fox underscores the studios’ and its sibling networks’ push to become an aggressive player in original TV movie programming. Messick will also work closely with Fox Broadcasting Co. exec veep of original movies and miniseries Marci Pool and FX prexy of entertainment Kevin Reilly.

Messick will produce FX’s next original movie, “Campus Bookie,” slated to begin production at the end of April.

From a script by Michael Ritchie, project is based on the true story of Benny Silman, an ambitious kid from Gotham whose flirtation with sports gambling at ASU in 1994 turned into a point-shaving scandal that FBI officials called “the most significant sports bribery conspiracy in college athletics history.”

“Exploring Benny’s story in the context of the larger issues that it touches upon is key to making a movie that is entertaining as well as illuminating about campus gambling,” Messick said.

Messick is also involved with such original series projects at Fox Television Studios including “Dotcomarama,” a romantic comedy set in the Silicon Valley culture during the boom and bust of the last year. Pic is being written by New York Times and Wired journalist Po Bronson, whose novel, “The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest,” is production-bound at 20th Century Fox.

Messick’s feature credits include the Alica Silverstone starrer “The Babysitter” and New Line’s “Surviving the Game,” helmed by Ernest Dickerson.

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