“This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman has signed a massive five-year overall deal that will keep him in the fold at 20th Century Fox Television.
Sources tell Variety that the pact is worth somewhere in the $125 million range. Under the new deal, Fogelman will continue to develop drama, live-action and animated comedy projects. Fogelman previously signed a four-year deal with the TV studio in 2015, following a bidding war after his exit from ABC Studios.
The transaction, brokered by WME, is also understood to involve a separate deal involving accelerated payments of Fogelman’s profit participation stake in “This Is Us,” which 20th TV produces for NBC, that could be worth as much as nine figures over time.
Fogelman was hotly pursued by numerous heavy hitters, but is said to have favored staying with 20th TV because of his close relationship with Dana Walden, who now oversees ABC and Disney Television Studios which encompasses 20th TV. It’s understood that 20th TV stepped up with a creative proposal for an extremely lucrative deal that made it an easy decision for Fogelman to stay.
Industry sources say a multi-year renewal for “This Is Us” is also in the works. The show, now wrapping up its third season, is rumored to be eying a six-season run, based on a comment made by co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker.
“I continue to be so grateful to my incredible partners at 20th – Peter Rice, Dana Walden, Jonnie Davis, Howard Kurtzman and every single person at the studio whom I’ve been fortunate enough to work with these past four years. It has been the best partnership of my career, I’ve never felt so supported, and I am beyond excited to begin this next chapter at Disney,” said Fogelman.
Fogelman’s deal is the latest in a glut of overalls which have been announced by Twentieth TV since the Disney merger just over a month ago. The eight other creatives who have signed overalls since Disney took the reins are Liz Meriwether, Drew Goddard, Jason Winer, Octavia Spencer, Nora Smith, Jake Kasdan & Melvin Mar, Marlene King, and Amy Holden Jones.
Other than “This Is Us,” Fogelman’s TV creations include the Fox drama “Pitch,” the cult-favorite musical fantasy series “Galavant,” ABC’s “The Neighbors,” and “Like Family,” which aired for one season on the WB.
“Dan Fogelman is everything you could want in a creator — inventive, collaborative, wise, funny, unbelievably talented and improbably humble,” said Walden. “He has devoted his heart and soul to every perfect episode of ‘This is Us.’ He deserves every bit of the success he’s enjoying right now and Craig, Jonnie, Howard and I consider ourselves lottery winners to be in business with him.”
On the film side, Fogelman wrote, directed and produced last year’s “Life Itself,” which starred Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde. His 2015 directorial debut, “Danny Collins,” featured Al Pacino in the title role.
Fogelman’s feature career began in animation, penning the screenplays for “Cars,” “Bolt” and “Tangled.” He got his start in Hollywood writing 60-second celebrity bios on the TV Guide Channel.
In addition to WME, Fogelman is repped by attorney Bruce Gellman of Hansen Jacobson.
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.