Judd Apatow and Universal have had a long and successful run together at this point; although he’s hopped around a bit with his TV work—most notably his Emmy-winning The Zen Diaries Of Garry Shandling, which went to HBO—and recently dallied a bit with Netflix, the vast majority of Apatow’s cinematic output has been with the studio.
Now, that relationship is set to expand even further, as Deadline reports that the 40-Year-Old Virgin director and producer has just signed a massive, multi-year first-look contract with NBCUniversal. Covering both TV and film, it’s not clear just yet what the new contract is being valued at—but given that Apatow has made the company literally billions of dollars over the last 17 years, we’re going to guess: Extensive.
The upshot of this new deal is that we can expect most of Apatow’s upcoming work—both the stuff he writes and directs, as well as his extensive producing work—to arrive somewhere under the company’s umbrella, whether that means being distributed by Universal, airing on NBC, or possibly appearing as part of the output of the company’s streaming service Peacock.
Apatow’s film output has slowed down a bit in pandemic times, although his latest feature, the Pete Davidson-starring The King Of Staten Island, did well both with critics and VOD audiences. He’s currently producing on Nick Stoller’s Bros, which stars Billy Eichner, while his next directorial effort is The Bubble, about a crew of actors attempting to fulfill their dinosaur-fighting franchise obligations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s also currently working, with Ramy Youssef and comedian Steve Way, on Dystrophia, a new TV series based on Way’s life that’s being co-produced by A24.
In other words: The Apatow train rolls along, as he continue to be one of the only consistent purveyors of successful low-to-mid-budget comedies working in the Hollywood ecosystem. Not wholly surprising, then, that NBCUniversal would be hoping to stay aboard.