Busy showrunner juggling projects including 1970s-set music drama with Baz Luhrmann
The three-year pact takes effect in May, when the previous deal for his Midd Kid Prods. expires. Marney Hochman Nash remains development chief for Midd Kid and an exec producer on all projects.
Ryan has been one of TV’s most sought-after showrunners ever since FX’s “The Shield” put him on the map.
His decision to re-up was Sony was easy after developing a very strong working relationship during the past two and a half years with Sony Pictures TV’s Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. He’s also impressed with the studio’s international reach with channels and production operations in many overseas markets.
Erlicht and Van Amburg “have been extraordinarily good to me and supportive of projects I wanted to pitch,” Ryan told Variety. “They’ve shown a great deal of faith in me and it’s only right I show it back to them.”
At present Ryan is juggling four high-profile development prospects.
The buzziest at the moment is a collaboration with feature helmer Baz Luhrmann on a drama about the music scene in late ’70s New York as disco was dying and hip-hop was emerging. (Details of that project were first reported last month by Vulture.) Basic and pay cable outlets are in the midst of a bidding skirmish over that project, also to be penned by playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis.
Ryan is eyeing the new frontier of producing for digital outlets through the Sony deal. The Lurhmann-Guirgis collaboration was pitched to Netflix and Amazon Prime, though sources say it’s more likely to land at a cable net.
Also on Ryan’s plate is a potential limited series for FX (“Mad Dogs”), and he’s exec producing prospective pilots with other scribes for HBO, ABC and Fox.
Sony Pictures TV recruited Ryan to the studio three years ago in the first wave of the studio’s effort to stock its roster with the kind of proven heavy hitters that command premium deals from major networks. Sony TV offers a level of freedom that’s hard to find at studios that are under the same corporate roof as major networks.
“There’s no pressure to take a project to a sister network in a priority position,” Ryan said. “You have the ability to decide where it’s going to have the best chance of being successful.”
In the 2012-13 season, Ryan co-created and exec produced the submarine drama thriller “Last Resort” for ABC. The series didn’t make it past season one, but ABC is back in biz this development season with Ryan and “Resort” co-creator Karl Gajdusek on “Freedom,” about a group of college students who create a resistance movement.
Ryan last year also spearheaded Sony TV’s “Beverly Hills Cop” pilot.
Fox’s cop show “The Chicago Code” and FX’s offbeat detective series “Terriers” are also among Ryan’s recent skeins. He’s repped by WME and manager Larry Shuman of Shuman Co.