"Family Guy" creator seals megadeal

Mon May 5, 2008 5:48am EDT
 
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By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - From wunderkind to TV mogul: After 2 1/2 years of negotiations, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane has inked a new overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV that would make him the highest-paid writer-producer working in television.

The pact, which could be worth more than $100 million, will keep MacFarlane at 20th TV through 2012. It covers his services on "Guy" and his other two animated series for 20th TV and Fox -- "American Dad!" and the upcoming "Guy" spinoff "The Cleveland Show" -- as well as his series development, which includes a multicamera comedy with "Guy" writer Gary Janetti. It also encompasses new-media projects related to MacFarlane's TV series as well as DVD and merchandising revenue from them. ("Guy" alone has grown into a $1 billion franchise with red-hot DVD and merchandise sales.)

"I get a lot of pleasure out of making shows," MacFarlane said. "It's a bonus to be getting paid well for it, and it's a double bonus to be getting paid exorbitantly for it."

Neither side would comment on the size of the deal, with 20th TV chairman Dana Walden noting only that "no one will ever have to offer Seth a handout of any kind."

MacFarlane's deal is expected to eclipse the $60 million five-year feature/TV pact J.J. Abrams ("Lost") inked with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. TV in 2006.

The deal is retroactive, as MacFarlane's previous pact with 20th TV expired more than a year ago.

"It's a relief to have it done," 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said.

Added Walden, "Today marks the first time in a long time (20th TV top business affairs execs) Howard Kurtzman and Neal Baseman did not have their shoulders up to their ears with anxiety."   Continued...

 
<p>Seth MacFarlane arrives at the first annual Spike television's "Guys Choice" awards show in the Studio City area of Los Angeles June 9, 2007. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas</p>