Pilot pro in WB’s hangar

Warner TV bets on Nutter's streak

Warner Bros. TV has sewn up a new long-term deal with director David Nutter, whose 12-for-12 track record of getting pilots picked up to series makes him the medium’s most successful working hourlong helmer.

Nutter — whose credits range from “Smallville” and “Without a Trace” to HBO mega-mini “Band of Brothers” — has inked a three-year, seven-figure pact with the studio that calls for him to develop and direct at least one pilot each year. Deal comes after ABC picked up the Nutter-helmed drama “Traveler.”

Nutter’s series order streak, which dates back to 1995, puts him on a par with James Burrows, the comedy helmer behind the pilots of “Cheers,” “Will & Grace” and numerous other skeins.

Nutter said he tries “not to think about the streak or the network” when deciding which projects to tackle come pilot season.

“I have to find that project that moves me in some way. Anything else, and you’re not trusting your gut,” he said.

Nutter said execs at WBTV, starting with prexy Peter Roth, have “let me have a lot of creative freedom and choice of what I want to do. There’s a mutual respect there.”

WBTV has had a deal in place with Nutter since 2000.

Nutter’s pilot winning streak began with “Space: Above and Beyond” for Fox. He then teamed with Chris Carter on “Millennium,” followed (in order) by “Sleepers,” “Roswell,” “Dark Angel,” “Smallville,” “Without a Trace,” “Tarzan,” “Jack & Bobby,” “Dr. Vegas” and “Supernatural.”

Helmer, who’s repped by Endeavor, took 1998 off from pilot directing to helm the feature “Disturbing Behavior.”

He’s currently attached to direct the football-themed love story “Touchback” for Morgan Creek (Daily Variety, March 27).

In addition to his pilot work, Nutter has a growing body of episodic work, recently helming segs of HBO’s “Entourage” and “The Sopranos,” as well as FX’s “Nip/Tuck.”

Nutter won an Emmy for his work as part of the team that directed “Band of Brothers.”

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