Berlanti inks 3 yr. WB deal

Shingle will focus on hourlong relationship dramas

HOLLYWOOD — “Everwood” creator and exec producer Greg Berlanti has signed a seven-figure deal with Warner Bros. TV that will keep him at the studio for at least the next three years.

Under the pact, Berlanti will continue to run “Everwood” next season while developing new projects for Warner Bros. He’ll then serve as a nonexclusive consultant on “Everwood” the following year.

Pact also provides discretionary funds for Berlanti’s production label with partner Mickey Lidell (“Go”). Both Berlanti and Lidell exec produce “Everwood.”

With the new deal in place, Berlanti-Lidell Prods. will hire a development exec to scout out new projects.

“I feel like I have dozens of stories in my head to tell, and a real desire to work with other writers,” Berlanti said. “The actual production side of it, for Mickey and myself, creating new worlds, is one of the most fulfilling things in TV.”

Berlanti said his shingle will initially focus on hourlong relationship-driven dramas.

Berlanti, whose credits also include writing and directing indie feature “The Broken Hearts Club” and showrunning “Dawson’s Creek,” was previously set up at Sony Pictures TV (formerly Columbia TriStar TV). The writer-producer, who’s repped by ICM, said he was attracted to the passion of Warner Bros. execs, including topper Peter Roth.

“I’ve been looking for a home my entire career, and I think I’ve finally found one,” Berlanti said. “It’s an odd climate right now for scripted TV; some would say it’s harder than ever for scripted shows to succeed and connect with an audience. It’s nice to be at a place that I feel gets what I’m trying to say and how I want to say it.”

News of Berlanti’s deal comes soon after the WB officially greenlit “Everwood” for a second season (Daily Variety, March 25). “Everwood” remains a favorite of WB Entertainment prexy Jordan Levin, who famously got choked up after a clip of the show ran at the Frog’s upfront presentation last May.

Warner Bros. TV’s Roth said he was as impressed with Berlanti’s producing skills as he was with the scribe’s writing abilities.

“When you have a combination like that, you want them to be a part of your company forever,” Roth said. “He’s a confluence of talent. He’s a great writer, fabulous mentor, great teacher, and the staff that works with him absolutely adore him.”

Roth said Berlanti’s first priority will to make sure “Everwood” stays on course next season.

“We see ‘Everwood’ as a very long-term asset for our company, and so does the WB,” Roth said. “From the moment of its inception, the show has been as well-organized, conceived, written and crafted as any series we’ve had on the lot.”

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