The deal came in through Universal Content Productions president Dawn Olmstead. According to sources, the deal is for five years and valued at nearly $200 million. NBCUniversal declined to comment on the specific terms of the deal.
Under the deal, he and his Fuzzy Door Productions company will develop television projects for both internal and external networks, including NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, Peacock. Erica Huggins heads up Fuzzy Door and is overseeing all content.
This is the first overall deal announced since the three NBCUniversal television studios — Universal Television, Universal Content Productions and NBCUniversal International Studios — aligned under the new banner.
MacFarlane is now the latest in an ever-growing string of high-profile creators and producers to ink substantial television deals. Shonda Rhimes, Kenya Barris, and Ryan Murphy all famously signed deals with Netflix reportedly worth nine figures each. “The Good Place” creator Mike Schur also reportedly received a similar deal to stay put at Universal Television, while Mindy Kaling exited UTV for a lucrative pact with Warner Bros. Television.
MacFarlane had previously been under an overall deal at 20th Century Fox Television, which expired in June. The studio currently produces his long-running animated comedies “Family Guy” and “American Dad!” as well as the live-action sci-fi drama “The Orville.” “Family Guy” airs on Fox, while “The Orville” is moving from Fox to Hulu for its upcoming third season and “American Dad!” moved from Fox to TBS in 2014. All three shows feature MacFarlane in front of the camera as well as behind. He also co-created and held voice roles in the animated comedy “The Cleveland Show.” That show also aired on Fox beginning in 2009 before being canceled in 2013. Fuzzy Door also produces the award-winning “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, which garnered 13 Emmy nominations. The next installment, “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” is set to premiere on March 9.
On the film side, MacFarlane wrote and starred in the films “Ted” and its sequel and the Wild West comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”
He is repped by Joy Fehily and Jackoway Austen.
MacFarlane has become increasingly critical of Fox as a whole in recent years, in particular the company’s news division, Fox News. He publicly said that he was “embarrassed to work for this company” last year in response to a segment on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show in which Carlson told viewers to “always assume the opposite of what they’re telling you on the big news stations.”
However, 20th Century Fox Television officially became part of Disney upon the completion of the 21st Century Fox-Disney merger back in March. The Fox broadcast network, Fox News, and Fox Sports were among the assets not acquired by Disney and spunoff into the now standalone entity, Fox Corp.
“One of my oldest memories from Fox is of a young Seth MacFarlane hanging out in the halls of the studio,” said Dana Walden, the chairwoman of Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment. “He entertained all of us with his incredible wit and hilarious observations. He is a brilliant artist and a great friend; and, there is no one we root for more than him. As a fan, I look forward to whatever he creates next, and as his studio partner on ‘Family Guy,’ ‘American Dad’ and ‘The Orville,’ I feel lucky to be continuing an extraordinary partnership.”