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John Davis takes Fox TV deal

Feature producer to create dramas, comedies

Feature producer John Davis is looking to expand into the TV world, signing a development pact with Fox Television Studios to create drama and comedy series.

Davis has also tapped former network exec Michael Forman to head up scripted TV series development at his Davis Entertainment shingle.

Under the first-look deal, Davis said he already has 17 projects he plans to pitch to Fox TV Studios scripted series topper David Madden in the coming weeks.

“The hope is to replicate the success we’ve had in features,” Davis said.

Davis has known Madden since the early 1980s, when they first entered the business. Madden was then a young 20th Century Fox exec, and Davis –the son of then-owner Marvin Davis — a budding producer.

“I learned from him in my early days — he was the first guy I talked to about how to develop scripts,” Davis said.

“As a feature producer, it’s hard not to be pulled into this medium,” he added.

Indeed, Davis joins a growing list of successful feature producers who have turned their attention to TV — a trend that really took off after Jerry Bruckheimer built his empire. Now others, such as Mark Gordon, have carved out their own booming TV shingles.”In the past, John would say, ‘I’d love to get into TV, but I have six movies in production,” Madden said. This time, the busy Davis hired Forman. “It seemed like he was taking the right steps to address the series business personally,” Madden said. Madden said he is also attracted to Davis’ populist streak — and expects him to bring some of that box office mojo to TV.

“I expect John to be embarrassingly commercial,” Madden said. “While John has very good taste, he’s also a balls-out, how-do-I-appeal-to-the-broadest-common-denominator kind of guy.”

Given Fox TV Studios’ international interests, Madden said the global appeal of Davis’ features also work in his favor.

The prolific Davis, who has been behind films including “Courage Under Fire,” “I, Robot” and “Daddy Day Care,” is no stranger to the smallscreen, having produced countless TV movies — including Disney Channel’s recent hit “Jump In” and the NBC entry “Asteroids.”

Forman joins Davis Entertainment from Eric McCormack’s Big Cattle Prods. (“Lovespring International”). Forman’s credits also include heading up programming at Vin Di Bona Prods.; before that, he spent five years as senior VP of programming at UPN. His resume also includes stints at NBC Studios, Reeves Entertainment and Brillstein-Grey.

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