Jordan Peele's Monkeypaw Productions Will Make TV Shows For Universal Now

Jordan Peele's production company, Monkeypaw Productions, has seen many of its films distributed through Universal Pictures, including Nia DaCosta's "Candyman" and Peele's own "Get Out" and "Us." Until now, however, it has worked with other partners on the TV side of things, like HBO, Amazon Prime Video, and CBS All Access (now Paramount+).

All that has changed with the success of "Candyman," as Monkeypaw has struck a new TV deal with Universal which will put its film and television projects under one roof.

THR reports that Monkeypaw is moving its TV business to Universal. HBO was the network for "Lovecraft Country," which has unfortunately been canceled. "Hunters" will return for a second season on Amazon Prime, but "The Twilight Zone" has already wrapped after two seasons on CBS All Access. Monkeypaw does still have "The Last O.G." starring Tracey Morgan airing on TBS, but other than that and "Hunters," it doesn't have a lot of ongoing TV projects.

Universal Studio Group president Pearlena Igbokwe had this to say about the deal with Peele:

"The term 'visionary' is thrown around all too frequently in our business but in the case of Jordan Peele, it could not be more apt. He brings a clarity of purpose as well as cultural specificity to everything he does, and audiences worldwide have responded. I am truly honored that Jordan and his partner Win Rosenfeld have chosen our studio as their TV home for the foreseeable future." 

The Deal with Peele

There's no question that Peele is a visionary filmmaker, but thus far, Monkeypaw's TV projects have had more of a mixed reception, as in the case of "Hunters" or the now-ended "Twilight Zone." Peele co-developed and hosted "The Twilight Zone" himself, but others were writing and directing most of the episodes, and a common criticism was that some of the social commentaries were less elegant and more on-the-nose than in Peele's own directorial efforts.

In some ways, it feels like Peele is going the J.J. Abrams route as a producer: lending his name to various projects while his actual involvement in some of them is minimal. This can sometimes mean that his name — similar to Abrams with "Lost" — becomes a kind of catch-all for any project he is involved in, even just as an executive producer. With "Candyman," for instance, people were floating a lot of reminders on social media this past weekend that it's a Nia DaCosta film, not a Jordan Peele film. Peele co-produced the film and co-wrote the script with DaCosta, but she directed it. Likewise, Misha Green developed "Lovecraft Country."

It will be interesting to see what new projects originate from Monkeypaw's deal with Universal and if they are able to generate any shows with a little more longevity. In the meantime, fans of Peele can look forward to his next film, "Nope," which will be distributed by Universal and hits theaters on July 22, 2022.