CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- In a deal that will likely keep "The Shield" on FX through 2005, 20th Century Fox has signed a seven-figure, two-year development deal with the series' creator and executive producer Shawn Ryan. The pact will call for Ryan to remain with the drama series through its fourth season, the third of which is expected to bow in January 2004. In addition, Ryan will also create and executive produce new projects for the studio.
The deal is the largest for any showrunner in basic cable history. Valued at roughly $6 million, Ryan is set to make $200,000 per episode for each of "The Shield's" 26 episodes likely produced over the course of the next two seasons. While a fourth season (which would begin airing in January 2005) has not been officially picked up, it appears to be a foregone conclusion based on the deal and the show's overall success.