News of the deal comes ahead of the midseason launch of the Fox series “The Passage,” based on the book trilogy by Justin Cronin on which Heldens is the writer and executive producer. The series focuses on Project NOAH, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all disease, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. It premieres on Jan. 14.
Heldens’ new deal calls for her to continue to shepherd the priority project for the studio, as well as develop new television projects.
“Liz Heldens is one of the great character-based dramatic writers working today, and getting a new overall for her exclusive services was a huge priority for Dana Walden and me,” said Jonnie Davis, president of creative affairs at 20th TV. “She is creating perhaps the biggest show of the year for us and for Fox in ‘The Passage,’ an exciting sci-fi thriller based on the bestselling books that has an incredibly compelling and emotional relationship at its core. She’s knocked this project out of the park in every way and we can’t wait for audiences to see it. But most of all, we cannot say enough good things about Liz and we’re over the moon that she’s decided to make this studio her creative home for many years to come.”
Heldens’ previous work includes serving as a writer and executive producer on Fox’s “The Orville.” She is also well-known for her time spent among the writing staff of the acclaimed NBC series “Friday Night Lights.” She began her career as a young writer working for television legend David E. Kelley.
“I am thrilled to continue my collaboration with Jonnie Davis and the fantastic team at 20th,” Heldens said. “Dana Walden gave me my very first job in television and has been incredibly supportive over the years, always championing my vision. I look forward to developing exciting projects that will engage new audiences, and I cannot wait for people to see ‘The Passage.'”
Heldens is repped by WME and Hansen Jacobson.