Twentieth Century Fox TV has sealed a rich overall deal with Tom Szentgyorgyi, who has already joined the staff of NBC’s upcoming drama “Journeyman.”
Under the two-year pact — with an option for a third year — Szentgyorgyi will also develop projects for the studio, most likely next year.
For now, Szentgyorgyi — who makes it easy on others by allowing his last name to be pronounced as “St. George” — is working on episode 102 of “Journeyman.”
Szentgyorgyi first worked with 20th on the studio’s short-lived Fox drama “Drive.” The studio was impressed and opted to lock him up.
“Tom’s someone who our drama department has followed for some time, and admired his work from a far,” said 20th Century Fox TV prexy Gary Newman. “When we were looking to put together a small, high-level staff on ‘Drive,’ we brought Tom on board. We decided this was someone we wanted to have an overall deal with, so we could, in success of that show, keep him and benefit from his development.”
After “Drive” crashed, Newman said virtually every drama showrunner at the studio approached him about recruiting Szentgyorgyi to their team.
“He’s got a wonderful list of credits,” Newman said. “He’s exactly who we ought to be doing business with when we look at our roster of writers. He can take a great pilot and help someone figure out how to turn it into a great series.”
Hence, “Journeyman,” which comes from Kevin Falls — who gave Szentgyorgyi his first break, on the critically acclaimed “Sports Night.”
“This is my first chance to work with Kevin since then, and it’s a walk on the beach,” Falls said.
Szentgyorgyi said he grew impressed with the 20th team while working on “Drive,” calling the studio “first-rate.”
“I’m extraordinarily grateful to Dana (Walden) and Gary for having faith in me,” he said.
Szentgyorgyi’s other recent credits include “The Nine,” “Commander in Chief” and “In Justice.” He also worked on “Law & Order” and “NYPD Blue.”
Newman said “Blue” creator Steven Bochco (who also worked on “Commander”) strongly recommended Szentgyorgyi to 20th.
“Bochco, who we have such a long history with here at the studio, really went to bat for him,” Newman said.