news 3 weeks ago

‘Rutherford Falls’ Co-Creator Sierra Teller Ornelas Inks Overall Deal With Universal TV

Deadline — Denise Petski and Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Sierra Teller Ornelas, co-creator of Peacock’s upcoming comedy Rutherford Falls, is expanding her relationship with the studio behind the series starring Ed Helms, which she co-created and executive produces with him and Mike Schur.

Ornelas has signed a multi-year overall producing deal with Universal Television, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios. Under the pact, Ornelas will develop and create new projects for broadcast, streaming and cable outlets.

“Sierra has been a valued member of the UTV family for as long as I’ve been here, and we’re thrilled to make the relationship official,” said Jim Donnelly, EVP, Comedy, Universal TV. “She’s a singular talent, and we’re excited she chose us as a home for this next phase of her career.”

Ornelas is co-creator, writer and executive producer of the recently announced scripted comedy series Rutherford Falls set to debut on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s newly named streaming service. It is set in a small town in upstate New York that is turned upside down when local legend and town namesake, Nathan Rutherford (Helms), fights the moving of a historical statue.

Most recently, she served as writer and co-executive producer on ABC’s Splitting Up Together as well as the NBC comedy Superstore. She has previously staffed on various half-hour network comedies including Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Happy Endings.

Ornelas has also been featured as a storyteller on This American Life. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she previously worked as a film programmer for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington DC. There she helped create entertaining programs about Native film and media. Raised in Tucson, AZ, Sierra is an award winning sixth-generation Navajo weaver and has been published in the New York Times.

“I am beyond excited to begin a partnership with Universal Television,” said Ornelas. “Pearlena (Igbokwe), Jim, and Megan (Macmillan) are unmatched in their support and collaboration. I pursued a career in TV writing for the free snacks and knowing I can now provide other writers with free snacks is truly a dream come true.”

Ornelas is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Tara Kole.

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