“The Office” scribe Michael Schur has sealed one of the year’s bigger comedy overall deals, inking a pact with Universal Media Studios.
Seven-figure pact calls for Schur to create, develop and exec produce comedy series for the studio — which he’s already been busy doing for months.
The deal includes Schur’s work with “Office” exec producer Greg Daniels on a new NBC companion half-hour starring Amy Poehler. Schur will take exec producer and co-creator credit.
“Their track record speaks for itself,” Schur said of Universal. “I’ve got the added benefit that Ben (Silverman) and Teri (Weinberg) were producers on ‘The Office’ and are now running the network.”
Schur’s wife, J.J. Philbin, also holds an overall deal at Universal Media Studios, where she’s currently at work on the Peacock midseason skein “Kings.”
Deal reps the first-ever overall pact for Schur, who’s been an “Office” writer since its 2004 launch and now serves as co-exec producer. Before that, he spent six seasons on “Saturday Night Live,” where he produced “Weekend Update.”
“He really is homegrown talent,” said Universal Media Studios prexy Katherine Pope. “He’s got a special brain when it comes to sophisticated, smart comedy.”
It was Schur’s “SNL” relationship with Poehler that eventually brought the thesp aboard. Poehler’s casting also cleared up the dilemma Schur and Daniels — who were going back and forth between two potential series concepts — faced: Develop an actual “Office” spinoff or the non-“Office” spinoff with the female lead.
“It was a very meritocratic process,” Schur said. “This was the idea we liked most.”
Schur and UMS remain tight-lipped on the show’s actual concept. Poehler, meanwhile, is due to give birth in October, giving Schur and Daniels time to continue fine-tuning the pilot before shooting in January.
“Ordinarily we’d be knee-deep in casting,” said Schur. (Beyond Poehler, the show’s only other confirmed cast member is comedian Aziz Ansari.) “But we pushed that off for now. We’re starting to poke around and meet with people for other parts. And we’ve hired four writers total, with plans to hire a couple more.”
Meanwhile, Schur said it’s unclear whether he’ll be involved in the actual “Office” spinoff that NBC has announced but so far has no timetable. “This show is what I’m doing now,” Schur said of the Poehler laffer.
Schur will continue to lend an occasional hand to “The Office” and possibly revive his onscreen persona as Mose, the beet farmer and bearded cousin of Dwight Schrute.
Scribe’s past credits also include a stint as producer on HBO’s “The Comeback.” And he co-wrote “The Office: The Accountants” series of webisodes with “The Office” writer Paul Lieberstein.