ABC pacts with Mark Gordon

Studio keeping producer for four more years

Mark Gordon’s TV practice is about to reap even bigger rewards.

The producer – whose two big fall entries, “Private Practice” and “Reaper,” launch this week — has signed a rich pact that keeps his company’s TV unit firmly entrenched at ABC Studios through 2011.

The relationship between Gordon and ABC Studios has been fruitful enough that the studio negotiated the pact a year before his previous deal was set to expire. That final year has now been rolled into a three-year renewal, making for a four-year exclusive arrangement.

“We wanted Mark to stay, and he wanted to stay,” said ABC Studios prexy Mark Pedowitz. “He has very good commercial taste and a very strong staff around him. Mark’s a great team player and has a good range, from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Army Wives’ to ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Reaper.’”

Given its auspices as a “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff, “Private Practice” is expected to launch as a strong Wednesday player for ABC; “Reaper,” meanwhile, has scored for CW some of the fall’s best reviews.

“Everybody’s talking about ‘Reaper’ and Mark Gordon is one of the main reasons for that,” said CW Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff. “He’s got a knack for creating buzz programming.”

The Mark Gordon Co. is also coming off a successful summer, having produced “Army Wives,” the top-rated original series in Lifetime’s history.

Given his recent string of success, Gordon said he never considered moving his TV arm – which just launched four years ago – elsewhere.

“ABC Studios has made it very attractive on many levels for me to stay there,” Gordon said. “They’ve been such great partners and collaborative, creating a great environment.”

Under Gordon’s TV prexy, Deborah Spera, the company was already riding high over the past few years with “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Criminal Minds.”

Then came this summer and “Army Wives.”

“I don’t know what I would do without Mark Gordon,” said Lifetime Entertainment prexy Susanne Daniels. “God bless him for delivering our highest rated program. In my opinion, they’re doing everything right over there.”

Next up, Gordon said there’s an opportunity for the Mark Gordon Co. to develop a few more projects than it has in the past – but the shingle isn’t looking for quantity, he added.

“We’re more circumspect about the choices we make,” he said. “The endgame is to get the shows we love and believe will stay on the air. You’ve got to protect your children and help them grow up, as opposed to popping out more.”

Meanwhile, Gordon’s upcoming feature slate includes the Roland Emmerich-directed “10,000 B.C.”

“It’s nice to be able to move back and forth between the fast-paced rhythm of TV and the more methodical, slower world of movies,” he said.

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