What’s in store for Craig Ferguson now that he’s signed off of CBS’ “The Late Late Show?” For starters, he intends to step up production activity as his Green Mountain West production banner under an overall deal inked with Lionsgate Television.
Pact calls for Green Mountain to develop scripted and unscripted series for the studio. Green Mountain had been based at CBS, where it fielded a range of development projects. Ferguson’s “Late Late Show” producer Michael Naidus will work with the company on projects, along with Green Mountain prexy Phil Cottone. Ferguson may wind up writing, directing or acting in various projects.
“Craig is one of the most creative minds in comedy, and we’re extremely proud that he’s chosen Lionsgate as his home for this next chapter in his remarkable career,” said Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs. “We’re looking forward to creating great television together.”
Ferguson’s overall deal with Lionsgate has been in the works even as he pursued a deal for a syndicated talkshow with Tribune Broadcasting and Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury distribution unit. Tribune’s major-market stations committed to an early-evening half-hour hosted by Ferguson, but the plan for a national launch in the fall was tabled earlier this month amid resistance from other crucial station owners including the Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Debmar-Mercury also distribs the syndicated gameshow “Celebrity Name Game,” which Ferguson hosts. The FremantleMedia North America strip is in the midst of its first season and has been renewed for a sophomore round in 2015-16.
Ferguson, repped by WME, wrapped his 10-year run in CBS’ post-“David Letterman” slot in December, saying he was ready to try something new. The Scottish-born comedian is a multihyphenate whose credits include the novel “Between the Bridge and the River,” the memoir “American on Purpose” and several screenplays. He’s also been a regular on the comedy tour circuit and toplined comedy specials for Comedy Central, Epix and, most recently, Netflix with 2013’s “I’m Here to Help.”
“I’m delighted that Lionsgate is now so successful that they can even add me to their otherwise prestigious cavalcade of stars without significantly damaging their brand,” Ferguson said.