AT&T Pays Big Bucks For Bad Robot Deal

Producer J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot has signed a deal under which it will create original projects for television, movies, games and digital platforms with AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit.

Bad Robot previously had been working exclusively with Warner Bros. on TV projects and Viacom’s Paramount on films.

The deal comes at a time when top producers with proven track records like Abrams are in big demand as media companies consolidate to compete in the streaming world. There were reports that bidding for Bad Robot could reach as high as $500 million. Earlier deals for Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy were in the multi-hundred million dollar range.

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Financial details were not disclosed.

AT&T is in the process of putting together HBO Max. It will be revealing details of that streaming service in October.

The new agreement builds on 13-year relationship between Abrams and Warner Bros. that began in 2006. Bad Robot and Warner Bros. renewed the television component in 2012 and 2015.

“It is a thrill for Katie [McGrath], Brian [Weinstein] and me and the rest of our team at Bad Robot to call WarnerMedia our company’s new home,” Abrams said. ”I could go on for hours, and probably will, about the extraordinary Peter Roth and the entire Warner’s television group, with whom we’ve worked for over a decade, and I’ve wanted to collaborate with Toby Emmerich and his team for as long as I can remember. I am grateful for the chance to write, produce and direct work for this incredible company, and to help create films and series with a diverse and vast collection of inspiring storytellers. We can’t wait to get started.”

Bad Robot will honor existing obligations to Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams is directing and producing the release of The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment of the Star Wars Skywalker saga.

Working with Warner Bros.Television, Bad Robot has produced series including Fringe for Fox, Person of Interest for CBS, Westworld, Castle Rock and 11.22.63 for Hulu.

Before working with Warner Bros., Abrams helped create Alias, Lost and Felicity.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.