Screenwriter J.H. Wyman — whose Fox drama “Keen Eddie” bows next week — has closed a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Paramount Network Television.
Pact calls for Wyman to develop and exec produce series projects for the studio via his Frequency Films shingle. Just as key for Par: Wyman will also continue as exec producer on “Eddie,” the Par-produced actioner that’s one of the anchors of Fox’s summer sked.
Wyman made his debut as a writer and producer on DreamWorks Pictures’ 2001 feature “The Mexican,” starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, and he has since become one of the more highly paid feature writers around.
In October, he sold his actioner “RPM” for $1.8 million against $3 million to Columbia Pictures with helmer Simon West (“Con Air”) attached to direct; in December he set up a remake of Par’s 1979 actioner “The Warriors” with Tony Scott directing.
Wyman, who just signed with CAA last week, wrote and created the heavily hyped “Keen Eddie,” which helmer West is exec producing with Wyman and Warren Littlefield. Skein follows a disgraced narcotics detective who’s relocated to London to recapture his dignity and figure out who set him up in a botched New York drug sting.
Mark Valley (“Pasadena”) stars in the title role.
Par TV Group topper Garry Hart said getting Wyman to remain with “Eddie” was a key driver in the deal, which has an option for two more years beyond the initial term.
“I’ll never say I know anything,” Hart quipped. “But having said that, I have a real good feeling about ‘Keen Eddie.’ I think it’s going to go the distance, and this deal is a chance for us to keep Joel in the fold.
“Once we’ve got the show in the groove, hopefully Joel will create some other shows for us,” Hart added.
Wyman said Par execs have “been really supportive of me and my ideas.”
“As an artist, it’s hard to find someone who gets you, who will allow you a great canvas on which to do your art,” he said. “But Paramount has been behind me 100%.”
Wyman said he also looked forward to working again with Littlefield, whose company is based on the Par lot.
“That was a large part of my decision,” he said. “You want to work with people you know and trust.”
Littlefield said he was glad Wyman would be staying with “Eddie.”
“He’s a monster talent, and one of the most unique, intelligent and entertaining voices I’ve ever worked with,” the former NBC topper said.