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‘Rock’ vet Kushell rolls to NBC

Writer to develop, pen, exec produce laffers

Veteran comedy scribe Bob Kushell (“3rd Rock From the Sun”) has inked a two-year, low seven figure overall deal at NBC Studios.

Under the deal, which kicks in next June, Kushell will develop, write and exec produce comedy projects for the Peacock-based studio. He’ll also continue as exec producer on “The Tracey Morgan Show” next fall, should the NBC/SNL Studios/Carsey-Werner-Mandabach laffer snag a second season greenlight.

Overall deals have become much less common in recent years, though there’s been evidence in recent months that nets and studios may be just a tad more willing to open their checkbooks for proven talent. Peacock, for example, recently shelled out big bucks for “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence (Daily Variety, Oct. 17).

NBC Studios exec VP Angela Lawrence said the studio has always been willing to step up for top talent, and that Kushell fell into that category.

“He’s just one of the funniest, most versatile writers in town, and now we finally get to get him over here,” she said.

Indeed, while Kushell’s previous overall deal was at C-W-M, scribe’s credit list is heavy on NBC skeins.

Work on ‘Tracy,’ ‘Hills’

In addition to his current gig on “Tracy Morgan,” he exec produced last season’s “Hidden Hills.” He spent six seasons on NBC’s “3rd Rock.”

“NBC has just always been a place where the style of comedy has fit with mine,” Kushell said. “I’ve always found the people there to be engaging and supportive.”

However, “The main reason I’m looking forward to working with NBC is because (development prexy) Kevin Reilly is easy on the eyes,” Kushell added. “Don’t print that.”

Kushell’s other small screen gigs include two seasons on “The Simpsons” and “Grounded for Life.” Deal was brokered by BWCS and Ken Richman.

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