Ahead of 1600 Penn's recently announced Jan. 10 premiere, 20th Century Fox Television is renewing its overall deal with director, writer and producer Jason Winer.
The EP and producing director of the midseason NBC comedy, who's worked with the studio for seven years, will stay on at the series as he continues to exclusively develop new projects for the studio under his new shingle.
“It was 20th Century Fox Television that gave me my first break in 2005 when they bought my short film The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friend," says Winer. "Now, seven years later, I’m excited to launch what is literally a homegrown production company, Small Dog Picture Company, with the incredible support of my partners Jonathan Davis, Gary Newman and Dana Walden.”
20th TV chairman Dana Walden has worked with Winer since he came to the studio. He's directed episodes of New Girl, Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23 and Modern Family -- where he helmed the 2009 pilot and served as co-EP for the first season.
"We love his contributions to a pilot but one of the things that is so special about him is that he's willing to stay with a project beyond the pilot and establish a template for the series," says Walden. "It speaks volumes about the kind of guy he is."
The deal leaves Winer open to to direct existing projects, both pilots and episodes of current 20th TV shows -- like New Girl and Apt. 23.
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"His collaboration is so meaningful to the other creative people on the show," Walden adds. "The actors always do their best work with him because they trust that he will do the right thing for both the project and their characters."
Nerds in Love, a dating comedy from Winer and How I Met Your Mother writer-producers Tami Sagher and Kourtney Kang, recently landed at CBS with pilot production commitment.
Winer is repped by ICM and Mosaic.