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‘Criminal Minds’ Showrunner Erica Messer Extends Overall Deal With ABC Studios

Erica Messer has re-upped her overall deal with ABC Studios for a further three years, Variety has learned. She will continue to develop projects for broadcast, streaming, and cable.

Messer has served as the showrunner on the ABC Studios-produced drama “Criminal Minds” at CBS for the past nine years, with that show set to wrap up its run with a 15th and final season during the 2019-2020 broadcast season.

With the extension of her deal, Messer has now set up two drama projects for development at ABC.

The first is titled “Best Kept Secret,” on which Messer will serve as writer and executive producer. It follows a mother and ex-intelligence agent, who has long hidden her past from her family. But she is forced to return to work when she discovers her daughter was tapped to join the same group she left years before. Deborah Cincotta will also serve as an executive producer on the project.

The second project is titled “Nightingale,” with Messer serving as an executive producer along with Cincotta. Matt Partney and Corey Evett will write and executive produce. It is described as a multi-generational family soap set within a high-stakes medical drama where the nurse is the hero.

Partney and Evett previously wrote for and produced the CBS medical drama “Code Black.” There other credits include “The Night Shift,” “Teen Wolf,” and “CSI: Miami.”

Messer served as an executive producer on the award-winning documentary “The Biggest Little Farm,” which most recently led the Critics Choice Documentary Awards nominations. Messer, along with “The Biggest Little Farm” director and fellow executive producer John Chester, are developing future content around the documentary.

Messer is repped by attorney Ken Richmond. Partney and Evett are repped by Jackoway Tyerman.

The final season of “Criminal Minds” was announced back in January. The final season will consist of 10 episodes, meaning the show will have aired 325 episodes when it ends its run, making it one of the longest-running shows in television history. The series has been a cornerstone of the CBS schedule throughout its run.

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