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Universal Signs Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage to First Look Deal

Universal Pictures has signed a two-year first-look deal with with Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire banner.

The duo are currently writing, and will produce with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the studio’s live-action “Monster High,” which is based on the Mattel franchise of the same name.

They most recently produced “Endless Love” for the studio alongside Scott Stuber and Pamela Abdy.

The duo, known for TV hits like “Gossip Girl” and “The O.C.,”  are currently in production on summer sudser “The Astronaut Wives Club,” which ABC picked up in a 10-episode straight-to-series order earlier this year and for which Savage penned the pilot. (The team moved Fake Empire from Warners to ABC in 2013).

“We already feel at home at Universal,” said Schwartz and Savage in a joint statement. “We’ve had a great time developing ‘Monster High’ and producing ‘Endless Love.’ We’re impressed with the creativity and leadership at the studio and look forward to continuing our relationship with Jeff Shell, Donna Langley and their amazing team, including Jeff Kirschenbaum and Peter Cramer, as well as the best marketers in the business.”

As a part of the move, Lynley Bird will be promoted to creative executive. Prior to Fake Empire, Bird was a creative executive at Illumination Entertainment. Schwartz, Savage and Lis Rowinski, who oversees the motion picture business for Fake Empire, will be moving their offices onto the Universal lot.

Schwartz, Savage and Fake Empire are repped by WME and attorney Joel McKuin.

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