Touchstone taps ‘Boomtown’ boys

Scribes Brancato, Salke sign two-year deal

Former “Boomtown” scribes Chris Brancato and Bert Salke are headed to Touchstone Television, ending a two-year relationship with 20th Century Fox TV.

Duo have inked a two-year, seven-figure overall deal to develop and exec produce series programming for Touchstone via their Brancato/Salke shingle. They’ll also deliver series services as producer-scribes for existing Touchstone skeins.

Pact brings Brancato and Salke back to the studio where they created their first pilot for a broadcast net, the 2002 ABC oater “Then Came Jones.”

“We began our career in the network television business with Touchstone and consider it our first home,” Brancato said.

What’s more, with the studio cranking out hits like “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” it’s hard not to be impressed with what Touchstone has done over the past two seasons, Brancato added.

During their run at 20th, Brancato/Salke most recently created the Fox drama pilot “Murder Book.” Net gave the concept an early put pilot commitment last fall (Daily Variety, Sept. 29, 2004); at the time, Fox exec VP Craig Erwich called the project the best of the slew of procedural pitches he had heard that year.

Deal with 20th also yielded the 2003 NBC pilot “Money.” In addition to their pilot work, Brancato and Salke were called in to take over as showrunners for the 20th-produced Fox sudser “North Shore,” which aired last summer on the net.

Brancato and Salke were co-exec producers on the first season of NBC’s critically hailed (and Peabody-winning) “Boomtown.”

On the feature front, UTA-repped duo are teamed with Nick Cassavetes as producers on the Jamie Blanks-helmed pic “Intervention.” They previously served as exec producers on the Imagine/Revolution laffer “Stealing Harvard.”

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