In one of the year’s richest TV talent pacts, NBC has inked former “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham to a seven-figure development deal.
The Peacock will develop a series project around Graham, who had been in demand at several nets and studios in part because of her perceived ability to topline either a comedy or drama project. Net is already eyeing several writers to pair with Graham.
Deal reps one of new NBC boss Ben Silverman’s first major actor signings since he came to the net in June. It also marks a reunion between Graham and NBC casting exec VP Marc Hirschfeld, who worked together a decade ago.
“I cast Lauren on ‘NewsRadio,’ ‘3rd Rock From the Sun’ and ‘Seinfeld’ early on in her career,” Hirschfeld said. “I’ve been pursuing her aggressively for the past several years after her outstanding work on ‘Gilmore Girls.’ ”
Silverman, meanwhile, cited Graham’s comic voice as a reason for pursuing the the thesp. “She’s so respected in the industry and is a huge get for us,” he said.
Graham said she was attracted to NBC because of Silverman’s vision for the network.
“Also, after having spent so many years representing the frog on the WB, I am especially comforted to be part of the only other network with an animal mascot,” she added.
Thesp played mom Lorelai Gilmore on “Gilmore Girls” from 2000 until this year and served as a producer on the WB/CW skein. On the feature front, she’ll soon appear in the Greg Kinnear starrer “Flash of Genius” and star with Matthew Perry in “Laws of Motion.” Her past feature credits include this summer’s “Evan Almighty” as well as “Bad Santa” and “Because I Said So.”
As part of the NBC deal, manager John Carrabino will serve as a producer on any series developed for Graham.
Thesp is also repped by ICM.
During her tenure on “Gilmore,” Graham launched a Warner Bros.-based production shingle, Good Game Prods. One project developed under the banner, the online dating show “Boxers or Briefs,” is in the works at WB’s Studio 2.0.