Exec. producers seal new deals with Fox
“American Dad” exec producers Mike Barker and Matt Weitzman have sealed new overall deals with 20th Century Fox TV.The pacts come as Fox officially greenlights a fifth season of “Dad.” Show is in its fourth year, but the lengthy timetable for animated skeins usually requires an early pickup. Barker and Weitzman are locked to continue as showrunners on “Dad,” which comes from the Seth MacFarlane hit-making factory. “It was one of our goals going into the summer to make sure their services were secured,” said 20th Century Fox TV chairman Dana Walden. “The show has evolved creatively under their leadership. And when you find a tentpole player like Seth, one of the critical elements in supporting their companies is locking up the services of the people they depend on, they trust.” One thing has changed, however: Barker and Weitzman — who until now have operated as writing partners under their Underdog Prods. shingle — have separated and signed individual pacts with the studio. The duo said the split was amicable, and they’re still working together as before. Now, however, their careers are no longer tied together, allowing them to “explore the single life.” “It’s like a husband and wife divorcing, you still love the child and are responsible for raising this kid,” Barker said. Production on the fourth season of “Dad” is wrapping up, just as the show’s writing team is starting to break stories for the show’s fifth season. “Dad” revolves around Stan Smith (MacFarlane), a conservative CIA agent, and his family. Barker and Weitzman said they’re waiting to see how next week’s election might impact the show. “The election will probably cause us to come up with a whole new dynamic,” Barker said. “We’re excited for what that could mean for Stan. It’ll be interesting to see him on the losing side of things.” The scribes said they’re fully focused on the show, and don’t expect to develop any projects on the side just yet. “This is what a comedy writer wants, there’s no reason not to keep going,” Weitzman said. “Dad” also features the voices of Wendy Schaal, Dee Bradley Baker, Rachael MacFarlane and Scott Grimes, among others.