“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” showrunner Tom Forman is ankling the ABC hit for a hefty new overall deal at CBS Paramount Network Television.
Two-year pact, valued in the low- to mid-seven figures, calls for Forman to create and develop series programming for the studio. While Forman’s initial focus will likely be on reality skeins, deal allows him to develop in any genre.
Forman, who had been under contract to Endemol USA, will leave “EM: Home Edition” at the end of the current season. He was one of the creators of the feel-good skein, a top 20 staple for ABC.
Both the Alphabet and at least one other studio made a bid to land Forman, insiders said.
Deal is one of the few CBS Par has made with someone from the nonscripted genre, but studio prexy David Stapf said he didn’t see Forman as simply a “reality” producer.
“He’s a great storyteller,” Stapf said. “I’m a fan of the show he produces not because it’s a reality show but because he tells great, emotional, compelling stories. You watch the show and you feel like you know these people in just one episode, and there’s an art to that.”
Deal brings CAA-repped Forman back to the Eye fold: Before getting into the reality biz, he was a producer for CBS News from 1995-2002. He won an Emmy for his work on a 9/11 docu the news division produced six months after the terrorist attacks.
Forman said he and CBS Par “share a common vision for making reality shows everyone can be proud of,” as opposed to some of the genre’s more lowbrow fare.
“What this genre does best is not shtick, not stuff that’s set up,” he told Daily Variety. “It’s real people in amazing situations… I want to do shows like that.”
Forman said leaving “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and its staff is “going to be heartbreaking.”
“It was a tough decision, but this felt better for me,” he said. “I’m building my 63rd house and had a schedule that kept me on the road (most of the year). I’ve done what I can do with this show.”