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Simkins to master Fox’s ‘FreakyLinks’

Thompson ankles over creative tiff

Fox’s upcoming sci-fi/Internet thriller “FreakyLinks” logs on this fall with a new showrunner: David Simkins has been tapped to oversee the series and replace Tommy Thompson, who departed over creative differences.

Sources say Thompson and Fox had different visions for the paranormal series. Thompson hoped to explore the darker elements of “FreakyLinks” and wanted to make the show more intense. Fox execs, however, wanted a lighter popcorn thriller in order to make the show more accessible given its Friday at 8 p.m. timeslot.

“I’m happy to have helped get the pilot up and on the air, and while there were some differences of opinion over where the series should go, this is really about my desire to develop my own material,” Thompson said. “It’s why I signed my deal (with 20th and Regency) in the first place, and it’s where my heart is.”

Thompson, who spent four seasons on “The Pretender,” working his way up to exec producer, and wrote and produced for “Quantum Leap,” will now focus on developing other series under his pact with the two production entities.

Simkins, who co-created the short-lived dramas “Vengeance Unlimited” and “Mercy Point,” will now serve as exec producer and sole showrunner on “FreakyLinks.” He had served as co-exec producer under Thompson since May, when Fox picked up the 20th/Regency series.

“We’re looking to give the audience a terrific Friday night scarefest,” Simkins said, calling the revised show “an hour of terrific scares and a lot of fun.”

“FreakyLinks” features a group of young conspiracy theorists who run a Web site devoted to paranormal mysteries. Gregg Hale and David Goyer co-created the series and serve as consulting producers, along with Carlos Coto. Based in Florida, Hale is handling the show’s content-rich Web site, FreakyLinks.com.

Thompson is repped by Endeavor, Simkins by Broder Kurland Webb Uffner.

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