Longtime partners prep ABC's 'Parents,' Netflix revival of 'Arrested'

Imagine Television has reupped its production pact with 20th Century Fox TV, extending what has been one of the TV biz’s most stable partnerships.

Imagine at present is prepping a new comedy for ABC, “How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life,” and the return of “Arrested Development” for Netflix.

The latest two-year deal for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s TV shingle extends the relationship that began in April 2000. Soon after, Imagine and 20th TV birthed the ground-breaking Fox drama “24.”

Grazer cited the stability among execs at 20th TV as a big reason why Imagine has never been tempted to shop around for other studio options. Twentieth toppers Gary Newman and Dana Walden have been at the helm ever since Imagine arrived on the lot.

“They’ve been very generous with us in development,” Grazer said. “They’ve really hung in with us on some hard shows.”

Imagine TV prexy Francie Calfo echoed Grazer’s sentiment.

“At a time when the business is changing at such a rapid pace, it’s really refreshing and comforting to have a relationship that has bred so much success and respect,” she said.

Among the other shows Imagine and 20th have fielded during the past dozen years are Fox’s “Lie to Me,” CBS’ James Woods starrer “Shark” and NBC’s “Miss/Match.”

Newman said Imagine’s focus on innovative concepts and high-profile talent has been a plus for the studio.

“They are not about volume and never have been,” Newman said. “Brian and Ron tend to be attracted to things that feel unique and distinctive. They’ve never once come to us and said ‘Look at the success this network is having with such and such show. Why don’t we try to do our version of it.’ They bring us distinct voices like Sam Baum (of ‘Lie to Me’) and Mitch Hurwitz (‘Arrested Development’).”

There’s also an intangible element to the partnership that can’t be discounted, Newman added.

“I’m not sure there’s anyone in this industry who’s more fun to have lunch with than Brian Grazer,” he said.

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