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Lionsgate keeps pair in lair

Drama producers sign first-look deal

Lionsgate Television is keeping drama producers Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller inhouse, signing the pair to a first-look overall development deal.

Segan and Piller are behind long-running USA sci-fi series “The Dead Zone” and ABC Family breakout hit “Wildfire,” both produced in association with Lionsgate.

Multiyear deal will call for the producing partners to develop one-hours and comedy projects as well as continue their work exec producing the cable dramas.

Lionsgate TV topper Kevin Beggs said the pact recognizes several years of collaboration between the indie studio and the duo.

Aside from the duo’s creative instincts, Beggs said locking up Segan and Piller was imperative because of their equally ambitious business philosophy.

“Obviously, you want creative partners when you’re making these deals, but what’s great about Lloyd and Shawn is that they’re entrepreneurial,” Beggs said. “Like Lionsgate, they embrace finding interesting alternative financial models and really work to make things happen.”

Segan said deal with Lionsgate simply formalizes what has already been a prolific working relationship with the studio; together they produced 50 hours of programming last year.

“We’ve been in business with Lionsgate for so long, it’s like we’ve had a home this entire time. They share the same spirit we do. They’re not entrenched in any particular way of doing business. We find ways to make our projects work.”

Segan and Piller are in active development on several projects being taken out to networks and cable. Segan said the slate ranges from “steep character dramas to one-hour thrillers.”

Beggs said to expect more overall producer deals at Lionsgate shortly. “We have some momentum, which gives us the ability to take more risks and reach out.”

Lionsgate TV last signed “Akeelah and the Bee” star Keke Palmer to a talent deal (Daily Variety, June 14).

Piller/Segan recently wrapped the feature “Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas,” a college comedy produced in conjunction with the Weitz brothers.

Segan’s credits include the films “Bones,” “The Bachelor” and “Boondock Saints.” Piller wrote for “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Voyager.”  He also co-wrote and co-produced the WB network pilot “Day One.”

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