ABC finds a go-to guy in Wass

Director inks for pilots, helming duties

Veteran sitcom helmer Ted Wass is more than perfect for ABC and Touchstone Television.

Network and studio have made a two-year, seven-figure overall deal with Wass that calls on the helmer to direct multiple pilots during the next two development seasons and to serve as the series director on various ABC or Touchstone skeins through spring 2006.

Wass is in the middle of his second season as the series helmer on ABC’s “Less Than Perfect,” having directed the skein’s pilot episode. Wass also directed two pilots last spring that got greenlit to series by ABC: 20th Century Fox TV’s “Married to the Kellys” and WBTV’s “I’m With Her.”

Deal gives ABC and Touchstone maximum flexibility in using Wass. Helmer will be able to direct non-ABC projects produced by Touchstone as well as non-Touchstone pilots targeted for ABC.

Touchstone topper Steve McPherson called Wass “an amazing collaborator.”

“He has this great vision that comes from being an actor, and he brings a sensibility that people really respond to,” McPherson said. “The pilot process is very difficult, I’ve been in some real difficult situations with Ted in which he’s handled himself beautifully. It takes some real skill to navigate (pilot season) and still execute a vision that shines through enough to get a pilot picked up.”

Wass was series director on the final two seasons of ABC’s “Spin City,” and before that spent a year directing NBC’s “Caroline in the City.” A longtime thesp, Wass got his start as a helmer on “Blossom,” directing multiple segs of the laffer in which he also starred as the title character’s dad.

Deal was brokered by Ted Chervin of BWCS and Steve Younger.

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