Zaks, Par ink TV deal

Helmer inks to develop pilots, also looks to direct 'Raymond'

Legit director Jerry Zaks has jumped from the stage to the tube, inking a two-year, mid-six figure deal at Paramount Network Television.

Under the pact, Zaks will helm pilots and help create new series. Separately, he’s also in talks with Worldwide Pants and HBO Independent Prods. to direct about half of next season’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” episodes.

Par hopes to draw more diverse talent to its ranks, including stage players such as Zaks.

Zaks only recently moved into TV, having directed this year’s season finale of “Raymond” and also two episodes of the upcoming Par laffer “Kristin,” which airs on NBC next month. The sitcom stars Kristin Chenoweth, a fellow Broadway refugee.

Meanwhile, Zaks — who’s repped by Writers and Artists Agency — is also confirmed to direct Neil Simon’s new stage work, “45 Seconds from Broadway,” which opens in New York on Sept. 10.

Zaks’ credits include helming the 1996 feature “Marvin’s Room.” On stage, he’s worked on projects including “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” “Swing!” and “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”

The helmer has won four Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards, among other kudos.

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