Feature producers Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo (“What Women Want”) are beefing up their small-screen presence, inking a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox TV.
Duo, who operate via their Roundtable Entertainment shingle, are already prepping for an active development season, with both comedy and drama projects on the drawing board. Under the two-year pact, 20th gets first crack at Roundtable-developed projects.
In the works now: “Darkside,” a space thriller set up at Fox Broadcasting last year. Richard Hatem (“Miracles”) has come onboard to write the script.
While the 20th pact is the first such TV deal Roundtable has done with a major studio, Matthews and Scharbo — whose feature credits also include “13 Going on 30” and “Urban Legend” — are not strangers to television.
Matthews co-created the WB’s cult drama “Popular,” and the duo exec produced “The Mountain” and “Jake 2.0.” More recently, team worked with 20th on last spring’s ABC pilot “Laws of Chance.” Project didn’t get picked up, but that experience convinced the studio to pact with Roundtable, according to 20th prexy Gary Newman.
“We were impressed with how they go about their business,” he said. “They’re creative, they’re passionate about their work, and as producers, they’re absolutely relentless about making something as good as it can be. We wanted to harness that energy and put it to work developing projects for 20th.”
Scharbo said he and Matthews found the execs at 20th to be “very smart and very collaborative” during the making of “Laws.”
“It’s sometimes tough with vertical integration to step up on a show that’s not with your (sister) network, but they did,” he said.
Added Matthews, “There was not a single situation where we couldn’t pick up the phone and talk to Gary or (20th co-topper) Dana (Walden).”
In addition to “Darkside,” Roundtable is still in development on “Mr. and Mrs. Doe,” a spy romance set up at ABC that was rolled to this season.
On the feature front, Grant and Scharbo (who are married) are working on “Superfan” for Revolution and the Intermedia-produced thriller “Fear Itself.”