‘Reba’ honcho rocks with Fox

Abbott will stay on WB laffer and develop new projects

“Reba” exec producer Kevin Abbott has signed a rich, three-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

Under the new pact, valued in the seven figures, Abbott will continue to serve as showrunner on “Reba” while simultaneously developing new projects for the studio.

Abbott has been with “Reba” since the show’s second season and helped make it the top-rated laffer on the WB.

Abbott “has done such an incredible job as the leader of this series,” said 20th Century Fox TV prexy Dana Walden.

“He really was in sync with Reba (McEntire) creatively and was able to take the show to the next level,” she said. “Along with Reba, he took that character and turned it into one of the most distinctive female characters on TV.”

This past development season Abbott exec produced the half-hour pilot “Adopted,” along with scribes Jim Rash and Nat Faxon (as well as Paul Young and Peter Principato), for 20th.

“Kevin really solidified himself as a fantastic showrunner and developer,” Walden said of her experience with Abbott this past season. “He has terrific taste in material and was really thoughtful in how he worked with the two guys who created that show. He was able to elevate the material but not take away from the original idea.”

Abbott’s credits also include “Two Guys and a Girl,” “Roseanne,” “Grace Under Fire” and “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.”

Fellow “Reba” exec producer Matt Berry will also return to “Reba” next year, having recently sealed his own deal with 20th Century Fox TV (Daily Variety, June 8). Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel also exec produce “Reba” under their 20th Century Fox TV-based Acme banner.

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