Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz -- the "thirtysomething" guys -- are coming back to TV. Lionsgate just announced they have signed a "first-look" deal, which means as it says -- Lionsgate gets a first look at any show they want to produce. Because Lionsgate was the producer of "Mad Men," this new association with a pair of prestigious producers assumes an added level of significance.  

Zwick and Herskovitz as a TV team haven't been gone all that long really. They fronted the quickly forgotten "Quarterlife" on NBC in 2008, but otherwise have pursued (and occasionally achieved) big-screen success: "Defiance," "Blood Diamond," "The Last Samurai," and so on.

But Zwick and Herskovitz -- almost as much as David Lynch and Mark Frost around the same time (early '90s) -- came to define the New ABC: A network sophisticate with urban dramas that were quirky, intelligent, memorable, wonderfully acted and often beloved.

Either that or they aggravated detractors to no end -- "thirtysomething," as great as it often was, did tend to be a bit twee on occasion.

Zwick and Herskovitz had three major ABC triumphs: "30," "Once and Again," and "My So-called Life," which launched one of the great careers of television. 

You know her as Carrie Mathison...

Said Herskovitz and Zwick, in a joint statement, “There's a revolution in television right now, and Lionsgate is helping to lead the way. Its emphasis on innovation and artistic vision makes it the perfect home for the kind of personal and passionate filmmaking we've always pursued. We're thrilled to be here.”

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