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'Arrested' scribe returns to 20th roots

Former “Arrested Development” scribe Abraham Higginbotham is returning to the 20th Century Fox TV fold.

Higginbotham, now a producer on “Will & Grace,” has inked a seven-figure, multiyear overall deal to develop and produce series programming for 20th. Pact kicks in this June, once “W&G” wraps its NBC run.

Studio prexy Gary Newman said its creative team got to know Higginbotham well during his years on 20th/Imagine-produced “Arrested.”

“He’s a very smart writer who’s attracted to the kinds of shows we’re attracted to as well — those comedies that feel a little smarter and more sophisticated,” Newman said.

After spending a season on 20th’s short-lived Rich Appel laffer “AUSA,” Higginbotham worked for Mitch Hurwitz on the first two years of “Arrested.” When it was unclear whether “Arrested” would be back for a third season, Higginbotham accepted an offer to work on the final season of “W&G.”

“My first spec script was ‘Will & Grace.’ It started my career,” the scribe said.

It’s too early to say what kinds of projects Higginbotham may develop for 20th, though he said he’s looking to work on material with an emotional connection.

“I’ve been lucky enough to work on shows that moved me in some way. Those are the kinds of stories that I want to tell,” he said.

Before becoming a scribe, WMA-repped Higginbotham worked as a thesp, with roles on skeins such as “7th Heaven” and “Beverly Hills 90210.”

“I played a lot of those ambiguously ethnic bad guys,” he quipped.

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