He will create, write, develop, direct and supervise series projects for 20th, and continue to oversee “Modern Family” with co-creator and executive producer Chris Lloyd through its 11th and final season, which ends its run on ABC next year.
The new deal keeps Levitan with his longtime studio home of two decades, but under a new corporate parent whose politics no longer conflict with his own, now that Disney has completed the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment portfolio. Levitan told Variety last year that he would not work with the Murdoch family-controlled Fox spinoff that includes Fox News, Fox Sports, and the Fox broadcast network.
In a statement on the deal, Levitan took the opportunity to make a quip about 20th’s former corporate sibling.
“While I’ll miss seeing Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham at the Fox company picnic, I’m thrilled to make this move to Disney where I can still cling to so many people I love and respect,” said Levitan. “Good friends like Dana Walden, Peter Rice, Bob Iger, Howard Kurtzman, Jonnie Davis and Carolyn Cassidy, to name just a few, have been steadfast supporters over these last twenty years and I’m deeply grateful to join them and Craig Hunegs as I try to produce a few of the 46-thousand shows on television.”
After “Modern Family” ends its 11-season run, the multiple-Emmy-winning multi-hyphenate Levitan is looking to create new shows, guide multiple projects and develop younger voices and up-and-coming writers through the pilot process, said the company.
“We made a deal with Steve twenty years ago and every year we’ve worked together has been fruitful, unexpected, and very meaningful to all of us,” said Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden. “‘Modern Family,’ which Steve created with Chris Lloyd, is one of the funniest, best and most award-winning comedies in the history of television,” said Walden. “He’s a brilliant writer and an extraordinary producer, who asks more of himself than we ever could. His love of comedy is evident in everything he writes and he elevates everything on which he works. On a personal note, he’s a spectacular person who has become a close friend and I’m thrilled that he’s continuing to make his home with us. Finally, it’s worth noting that my quote would have been significantly funnier had he punched it up.”
Levitan, who also created “Just Shoot Me” and whose past credits include “Wings,” “Frasier,” “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Greg the Bunny,” is repped by attorney Sam Fischer of Ziffren Brittenham.
Other overall deals at 20th include Adam F. Goldberg, Phoebe Robinson, Jon Steinberg, the Molyneux, Drew Goddard, John Legend’s company Get Lifted Film Co., Jason Winer, Jon Cassar, Octavia Spencer, Jason Richman, Nora Smith, Joanna Coles, Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar, Raven Metzner, Marlene King, Liz Meriwether, Amy Holden Jones, Dan Fogelman, Jon Chu and Andrew Stearn Productions.