by Nellie Andreeva)
EXCLUSIVE: Copper executive producer Thomas Kelly has signed an overall deal with AMC. Under the two-year pact, he will work on existing AMC series and develop new projects. “Tom Kelly is a great writer, and a truly unique voice in multiple mediums,” AMC’s EVP of programming Joel Stillerman said. “His background as a novelist and screenwriter – as well as a television writer and showrunner – conspire to bring a perfect sensibility to rich, character-based, serialized storytelling.” Kelly, considered one of the top urban novelists of his generation, has authored three books. The first, Payback, was optioned by New Line for Ted Demme’s Spanky Pictures, with David Mamet adapting. Kelly’s third novel, Empire Rising, about the construction of the Empire State Building, was recently picked up by Warner Bros. as a potential directing vehicle for Guy Ritchie, with Kelly writing the script. His TV series credits include Blue Bloods, The Black Donnellys and Tilt. Kelly, who also has a background as a journalist, is repped by WME, manager Michael Prevett and attorney Karl Austen. AMC has been actively signing experienced writer/showrunners as it is ramping up its own series production. Last month, the network inked an overall deal with Low Winter Sun developer/executive producer/showrunner Chris Mundy.