Prolific scribe Tim Doyle (“Roseanne,” “Ellen”) has sealed a seven-figure overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV to exec produce new and existing series.
Under the pact, which also includes an option for a third year, 20th has initially tapped Doyle to join its sophomore CBS sitcom “Still Standing.” Doyle will be showrunner and exec produce alongside series creators Joey Gutierrez and Diane Burroughs.
Twentieth Century Fox TV prexy Gary Newman said Doyle was a natural to join the blue collar-oriented “Still Standing,” given his experience on shows such as “Roseanne” and “Grace Under Fire.”
“He seems especially suited to this mission,” Newman said. “Tim brings something of value to the process. He’s a writer’s writer; they love him because he’s collaborative, open and fun in a room.”
Newman said Doyle won’t perform major surgery on “Still Standing.” He was tapped to help ensure the show (from 20th and CBS Prods.) is still standing in its second season.
Under Gutierrez, Burroughs and Doyle, the show will likely focus more on grounded, family-oriented stories and less broad-based humor, the exec said. “The primary objective is to make sure that ‘Still Standing’ runs for a good, long time,” Doyle said.
But there’s a hitch: Doyle may have to take a sabbatical from 20th and “Still Standing” later this year, should NBC order the comedy “Stuck in the Middle With You” to series. The Doyle-penned project wasn’t greenlit for fall, but the Peacock did pick up four more scripts of “Stuck.” NBC insiders said the network will likely go forward with the show, which would require Doyle’s attention.
Doyle developed “Stuck” while under a two-year development deal at NBC Studios; that pact expired last month.
“We’ll have to find a way to accommodate that,” Newman said. “But Tim was, in our judgment, the right guy for this job, and we’re prepared to live with the risk that his involvement on ‘Still Standing’ may be short-lived. The long-range goal with Tim is to get his own show going.”
Indeed, Doyle said he was more than hungry to finally develop a hit comedy of his own. “It’s well past my turn, I think; for my resume, I’m one of the most successful unsuccessful writers on TV,” Doyle said. “For whatever reason, I haven’t quite gotten over that hurdle of getting the show I want to get on the air.”
Doyle, who’s repped by CAA and Abel Lezcano, collaborated in the past with 20th on an FX pilot and on ABC’s short-lived “Bob Patterson,” which he exec produced but later ankled due to creative differences.
“We’ve danced with Tim for a number of years,” Newman said. “We’re pleased to finally have him.”
Prior to NBC Studios, Doyle had been based at Touchstone TV, both solo and partnered with fellow scribes Ric Swartzlander and Matt Berry. “I’ve tried a lot of other studios, and 20th is the one I hadn’t hit yet, so I decided to fill out my resume,” Doyle quipped. “I’ve known these guys for a long time and am excited to have an opportunity to work with them.”