‘Dexter’ showrunner gets deal

Former showrunner Phillips pacts with Lionsgate

Clyde Phillips is ready to get back in the development fray. The former “Dexter” exec producer/showrunner has inked a two-year production and development deal with Lionsgate Television.

Phillips said he’s eager to field new projects after devoting the past four seasons to shepherding “Dexter,” the moody serial killer drama starring Michael C. Hall.

He opted to bow out of “Dexter” to return to development after the series completed its fourth season on Showtime in December.

Phillips came on to the series just after the pilot was produced, and he’s since guided it to become the highest-rated skein in Showtime’s history — not to mention earning a Peabody kudo and back-to-back Emmy noms for best drama series in 2008 and 2009.

Phillips is considering comedy and drama projects for broadcast nets as well as basic and pay cable. The scribe-producer has moved back and forth between half-hours and hours throughout his career. His resume includes serving as creator/exec producer of such series as Fox’s high school sitcom “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,” NBC’s Brooke Shields starrer “Suddenly Susan” and Fox’s family dramedy “Get Real.”

“I’ve got some very specific ideas of shows I want to do,” Phillips said. “I tend to think in spans of 12 episodes now instead of 22, so I’ll have to retrain my brain if I sell something to a (broadcast) network.”

Phillips has been sought after as a showrunner and by other studios for development deals. But the Lionsgate TV team headed by prexy Kevin Beggs and chief operating officer Sandra Stern felt like the best fit, Phillips said.

“I was gratified by a number of generous offers that came my way, but Lionsgate was the place I wanted to be,” he said. “We have a shared enthusiasm for television that will lead to interesting work. … They’ve been very gracious in their courtship and gracious in the negotiations.”

Beggs called Phillips “a master storyteller with a distinguished career in both comedy and drama” in announcing the deal. “We’re looking forward to making great television together,” he said.

Phillips is repped by CAA.

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