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R.J. Cutler Sets First-Look Deal with Fox 21 Television Studios

Director-producer R.J. Cutler has set a first-look pact for scripted projects at Fox 21 Television Studios.

The deal comes as Cutler, known for his documentary work, has become more active in the scripted arena. It also brings him back to the Fox lot where he produced the docu-series “American High” in 2000.

“We are big fans of R.J.’s work on both the scripted and the unscripted side, so we jumped at the chance to have a first look at anything he develops for cable,” said Fox 21 president Bert Salke. “He’s an incredible storyteller with a talent for exploring larger than life characters while grounding them in relatability and humanity.”

Cutler is coming off an Emmy nomination and Peabody award for the Showtime documentary “Listen to Me Marlon.” He’s at work on a new doc about John Belushi for Showtime.

In the scripted arena, Cutler directed the pilot for ABC’s “Nashville,” which moved to CMT this year for its fifth season. During the most recent pilot season he helmed and exec produced the CBS drama “Four Stars.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with Bert Salke and the good people at Fox 21, and we’re already cooking up some terrific projects,” Cutler said. “(Fox Television Group CEOs) Dana Walden and Gary Newman gave me my start in television when we all made ‘American High’ together, so for me this is like coming home.”

Cutler’s past docs include the 2009 feature “The September Issue” and Showtime’s “The World According to Dick Cheney.”

He’s repped by  CAA, Lighthouse Management & Media and Hansen Jacobson.

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