×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

20th TV’s go-to guy Appel gets busier

'Simpsons,' 'Hill' mainstay also juggles 'Bernie' duties

Veteran scribe-producer Rich Appel is staying put at 20th Century Fox TV, inking a multiyear deal with the studio.

As part of the seven-figure pact, Appel, who created last season’s NBC laffer “A.U.S.A.,” will develop and exec produce projects for the studio while also working on existing skeins. He’s already signed on to serve as a co-exec producer on the 20th-produced laffer “The Bernie Mac Show” (Daily Variety, May 28).

Scribe’s been based at 20th for nearly a decade, working on animated hits “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.”

Studio prexy Dana Walden said she and fellow prexy Gary Newman consider Appel “part of the Fox family.”

“He’s done fantastic work for us over the many years we’ve had a deal with him,” Walden told Daily Variety. “He’s able to write a broad range of comedy, whether it’s single-camera or multicamera. He’s very skilled, and we’re glad to continue working with him.”

Appel said that while “A.U.S.A.” didn’t make it to a second season, his experience working with the studio on the show “was almost ideal.”

“I’ve spent my entire career at 20th, and Gary and Dana are like family to me — which is to say, they’re hard to please, they withhold love, and I’m desperate for their approval,” scribe quipped.

Appel also said he was looking forward to working with exec producer Michael Borkow on “Bernie Mac” before beginning the development process again.

Ideal circumstances

“Bernie’s a charismatic star, the show’s terrific, and the people Michael have put together are first rate,” Appel said.

Appel got into showbiz after working both as a criminal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s office and as a clerk at two federal courts. In 1994, he left to become a writer (and eventually co-exec producer) on “The Simpsons.”

Scribe, who’s repped by Endeavor, then joined “King of the Hill” as exec producer for three seasons and showrunner for two more. His experience as a prosecutor inspired “A.U.S.A.”

More TV

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on 'Dateline'

    The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part [...]

  • Kenan Thompson

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilots 'Saving Kenan' and 'Like Magic'

    NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot. “Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.” Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and [...]

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content