Chuck Lorre, the comedy titan behind hit shows Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly, has signed a new big-bucks deal that could push him into the drama series space and the film world as well. Under his new exclusive overall development and production deal with Warner Bros. TV, Lorre will remain with the studio through at least 2016.
As part of the deal, Lorre will continue to write and produce comedies through his Chuck Lorre Productions banner. But he'll also look to expand into drama series for the TV studio, and perhaps also write, develop and/or direct feature films via Warner Bros. Pictures.
"After writing and producing sitcoms for 20 years, it'll be a welcome relief to take all the violence, insanity and human suffering from behind the cameras and put it out front," Lorre says. "And finally, the feature component of this new deal allows me to fulfill a lifelong ambition — to have a project in 'turnaround'."
Lorre has been with Warner Bros. TV since 2000, and the relationship has proved to be lucrative for both parties. "Chuck Lorre is the quintessential comedy writer/producer of our time, the most successful creator/showrunner of the last 25 years in the business," says Warner Bros. TV president Peter Roth. "Chuck has had a profound impact on Warner Bros. Television over the last 12 years."
Lorre joked that he was "proud to say that at 12 years and counting, my relationship with Warner Bros. is now officially longer than either of my marriages."
The Big Bang Theory ended last year as TV's No. 1 comedy with total viewers, with Two and a Half Men right behind it at No. 2. Lorre also recently signed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish his irreverent vanity cards into a book, "What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Bitter."