Prolific TV Producer Greg Berlanti Extends Deal With Warner Bros.

Posted June 7, 2018 8:54 p.m. EDT
Updated June 7, 2018 9:00 p.m. EDT

Take that, Netflix.

The prolific television producer Greg Berlanti has signed a new deal that will keep him at Warner Bros. for six more years, the studio announced on Thursday.

Other producing powerhouses — Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy — have abandoned traditional TV studios in favor of nine-figure deals with Netflix, and Berlanti was seen as another prime target for the streaming service. He is the executive producer of “Riverdale,” “Blindspot” and “Arrow,” among others, and was signed at Warner Bros. through 2020.

Streaming services are now in a full-on sprint to lock down creative talent behind the camera to long-term deals. Jordan Peele signed a first-look television deal with Amazon this week, and Kenya Barris is in negotiations to get out of his deal with ABC and possibly decamp to Netflix.

Warner Bros. now has Berlanti, 46, locked down through 2024, and at a particularly hot moment for the producer.

His production company is in production on 14 live-action, scripted series. Berlanti also directed this year’s “Love Simon,” a gay coming-of-age movie that was a hit with critics.

The deal was said to be worth more than $300 million, according to two people briefed on it who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations. Warner Bros. has bought out Berlanti’s production company and will pay out some of the back profits he would have potentially seen in syndication deals, those people said.

Warner Bros. made the announcement just days before a judge issues a final ruling on the AT&T and Time Warner merger. A week from now, Warner Bros. could be part of AT&T or could be looking for a new owner if the deal is blocked.

“We could not be more excited to extend our partnership with Greg Berlanti, a true giant in the television industry,” Peter Roth, the president of Warner Bros. television group, said in a statement.

Berlanti said: “A lot has changed about TV since I started working in it 20 years ago, but what hasn’t changed is how blessed I feel to come to work every day, where I work with the most talented, hardest-working company, executives, show runners, actors, writers, directors, casts and crews in the business. I’m eternally grateful to all of them and to the audiences that have watched our shows.”