'House' showrunner signs with Fox, Universal Media Studios
“House” exec producer Katie Jacobs has sealed deals with Fox Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox TV and Universal Media Studios.The two-year, seven-figure agreement — which spans two congloms (News Corp., NBC Universal) — will allow Jacobs to stick with “House” while also developing projects for Fox. That’s why U, which produces “House,” is in the mix, signing Jacobs to a new production pact. But Jacobs’ future development will be targeted for Fox, through sister studio 20th. “It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship over the past couple of years,” Jacobs said of the network and studio. Deal is a solo one for Jacobs, as her longtime production partner, Paul Attanasio, with whom she ran Heel and Toe Prods., is focusing on films. Jacobs and Attanasio previously held a first-look deal at the Fox network; before that, they were set up at Universal, where “House” first came into fruition, created by scribe David Shore. This is Jacobs’ first major network/studio deal in seven years. Having focused most of her attention on “House” in those years, Jacobs said she wasn’t looking for a new pact — until now. As part of the deal, Jacobs also has a blind pilot directing commitment at Fox, which, if all goes as planned, would be for her own development. Jacobs has directed several episodes of “House,” including last season’s two-hour premiere, “Broken.” “Katie is one of the most talented producers in the business,” said Fox Networks Group entertainment prexy Peter Rice. “We love the fantastic job she’s done for us with ‘House.'” Jacobs praised Fox for allowing her to “stretch the boundaries” of “House” — such as when she told the network she wanted the dram to produce exclusive content for a mobile app, or when she asked Fox to include new behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew to wrap around “House” repeats. “My working relationship with (Fox’s Kevin Reilly and Peter Rice) is what really inspired me to settle down and work closely with a network,” Jacobs said. The producer said she also continues to be grateful that Fox kept “House” on the air despite its initial basement-dwelling ratings. That patience eventually paid off, and “House” is now Fox’s flagship drama. “Trying something new is something this network does well,” Jacobs said. ” ‘Glee,’ ‘Fringe,’ ‘House’ all own their own space. I want to develop more shows for a network that allows that.” Production has already begun on season seven of “House,” which is now working on its fourth and fifth episodes for this fall. The show picks up where it left off in season six, dealing with House (Hugh Laurie) and his sobriety issues. “This season we explore whether he can be in an adult, mature relationship,” said Jacobs, alluding to House’s relationship with Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein). Jacobs has worked on numerous films and skeins, including “Gideon’s Crossing” and “Century City” (with Attanasio) and “A Cool Dry Place.”
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