Simonds inks pact with Touchstone TV

Deal reps continuing film-to-TV talent trend

Touchstone TV has inked an exclusive three-year overall deal with film producer Robert Simonds (“The Wedding Singer”).

The pact is the latest sign of film talent infiltrating the TV business. Simonds has produced several feature film comedies, most through his first-look feature deal with Universal, which remains in place.

Aside from “The Wedding Singer,” Simonds has produced such pics as “Happy Gilmore,” “Problem Child,” “Half Baked” and the upcoming “The Waterboy” for Touchstone Pictures.

At Touchstone TV, Simonds will develop and produce all forms of series programming as a nonwriting producer, and he’ll be charged with attracting feature talent to TV. Simonds will focus mainly on comedy and is already kicking around several series ideas.

“Simonds is an incredibly dynamic, aggressive guy with great relationships, and I feel he’ll have a fantastic instinct for television,” said Lloyd Braun, chairman of Buena Vista TV Prods.

The six-figure deal is modest in terms of upfront dollars, but sources say that Simonds’ deal could be very lucrative because of series renewal bonuses and backend profits. Disney and other studios are increasingly structuring deals to spur success through incentives and rewards.

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