Netflix signs ‘Stranger Things’ producer to multi-year deal
You stay right where you are Mr. Levy
Netflix knows that you love “Stranger Things,” so much so that the streaming service wants to keep the show’s producer firmly in the Netflix camp for the next few years. Shawn Levy, the award-winning director and producer behind the blockbuster Night at the Museum franchise, last year’s Oscar-nominated sci-fi darling Arrival and the globe-girdling Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things is entering into a multi-year exclusive deal with Netflix to produce television series. Earlier this month Netflix confirmed that “Stranger Things 3” will enter into production in 2018.
In addition, Levy has named Josh Barry as President of 21 Laps Television. Barry is a television producer and creative executive with 15+ years executive experience in the entertainment industry including work at studio, network, and as an executive producer.
Netflix and Levy’s production company 21 Laps first joined forces on Stranger Things, the popular and acclaimed series that premiered in 2016 and recently earned 18 Emmy nominations, with five wins. Levy, along with show creators The Duffer Brothers, 21 Laps’ Dan Cohen and fellow executive producer Iain Paterson, earned the 2017 Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama in this year’s Producers Guild Awards for Stranger Things.
Said Levy, “I don’t know any other company that would have taken a chance on a show about kids and inter-dimensional monsters, created by young unknown twin brothers and produced by a movie director’s production company. Netflix did, and they bet big, and it’s been truly thrilling to take this wild ride with such exceptional partners. My aspiration for 21 Laps has always been to create content that is eclectic, bold, humanist and surprising. As such, Netflix is the perfect home for us and our collaborators. My partners Dan Levine and Dan Cohen, along with President of Television Josh Barry and the rest of our 21 Laps colleagues and I, can’t wait to craft and usher more singular shows into the world with this empowering platform and partner.”
“Shawn and 21 Laps are courageous and adept storytellers who lean into risk both narratively and by nurturing great young talent,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. ”They have an admirable track record for telling ambitious stories that have incredible heart and which resonate with audiences all over the world.”
Until he left earlier this year, Josh Barry spent six years as the Head of Television and a Partner at THE FIRM, spearheading their development and production across all major networks and studios. In 2016/2017, he executive produced three series: Salem, on its third season for WGN/Fox21; the comedy Haters Back Off starring Miranda Sings for Netflix; and the ABC/Sony fall 2016 series Notorious.
He previously worked within the ABC Entertainment Group as a creative executive in various capacities for ten years. He was the Head of Drama Development and Current Programming at ABC Studios, serving as Senior Vice President. Prior to that he worked at ABC Network and Touchstone Television. While in the ABC Entertainment Group, he worked on such shows as Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Alias, Pushing Daisies, Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters, among many others. He graduated from Brown University in 1995 and lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Philip Matthys.