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ABC stays with ‘Road’ creators

Appelbaum, Nemec sign new deal

ABC Studios is staying in business with “October Road” creator-showrunners Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, inking the duo to a seven-figure, multiyear overall deal.

“Road,” a late midseason entry on the Alphabet sked, just snagged an order for a second season. Skein performed solidly behind “Grey’s Anatomy” during its trial run and will relocate to Mondays when it returns in late fall or early winter.

Before creating “Road” with Scott Rosenberg, Appelbaum and Nemec were key writer-producers on “Alias,” spending three seasons on the J.J. Abrams-created cult hit.

“We always knew how gifted they were as writers, but they’ve proven to be amazing creators and producers as well,” said ABC Studios exec VP Julia Franz. “Extending our relationship with them in the form of a larger deal was a no-brainer.”

Indeed, ABC Studios quietly reupped Appelbaum and Nemec before it knew whether “October Road” would be back for another season. Had the show not moved forward, studio planned to have the scribes focus on development.

“Now, some development might come, but the focus for us is going to be ‘October Road,’ ” Appelbaum said.

Scribes are already prepping for season two of “Road,” with production set to resume June 1. Appelbaum said he and Nemec are looking to re-energize the show after what will have been an extended hiatus.

“The six episodes last season were like the ‘October Road’ starter kit,” he said. “We’re looking to not come back gently but to really wow the audience.”

While known for actioners such as “Alias” and “Fastlane,” Nemec said the warm-and-fuzzyish “Road” didn’t feel like too much of a stretch.

“It wasn’t this big left turn for us,” he said. “It’s always the stuff we like to come back to: human reaction and interaction.”

Storytelling for season two should be easier since the producers will now have at least 13 episodes to map out plots.

“We can really get under the skin of these characters without the stress of only having six episodes,” Nemec said.

Endeavor-repped Appelbaum and Nemec have been working together for a decade, starting out their careers on the firstrun syndie skein “Fame L.A.” Other credits include “Early Edition” and, in what was their first collaboration with Rosenberg, the Showtime drama “Going to California.”

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