21st Century Fox and Disney are on a “glide path” for a Thursday deal announcement, sources familiar with the deal say. Disney became the sole suitor after Comcast dropped its bid for the majority of Fox assets on Monday.
If Disney’s billions have their way, most of 21st Century Fox will soon move into Cinderella’s Castle. The biggest downside of such a deal for the Murdochs may be the loss of the TV production studio run successfully by Dana Walden and Gary Newman for the last 18 years that has generated hits for the Fox broadcast network like 24, Family Guy, Empire and American Horror Story.
Fox has promoted longtime network drama chief Terence Carter to head comedy and drama development at 20th Century Fox TV. Charlie Andrews has returned to Fox after a brief stint at Netflix to fill Carter’s shoes on the network side.
Jeffrey Glaser, 20th Century Fox TV’s longtime current programming chief, is leaving the company and Carolyn Cassidy will take the reins as SVP.
The first promotion under new creative affairs president Jonnie Davis sees the studio vet rise to executive VP of current programming.
Twentieth Century Fox Television today named Howard Kurtzman president of business affairs and Mark Pearson EVP of brand management and digital media.
The two veteran execs of the studio are promoted to VPs in drama development and publicity, respectively.
The Simpsons voice actors have commissioned a study estimating the show has made $1 billion in profits as ammunition in their negotiations with 20th Century Fox TV over its demand that they agree to have their salaries cut nearly in half. The study projected that the studio will eventually make about $2.8 billion from the show through 23 seasons.
It looks like The Simpsons—20th Century Fox Television’s multibillion-dollar cash cow, the anchor of the Fox network’s Sunday primetime schedule and the longest-running sitcom in the history of television—might stop production after the current 23rd season ends next spring. The reason is a negotiating impasse between the studio and the six principal actors who voice the characters.