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EXCLUSIVE: MTV, NBC Partnering For 'I’m a Celebrity'

MTV and NBC are close to a deal to partner on the summer reality series I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the pending agreement.

In a deal that is expected to be announced this week, NBC and MTV will forge a unique collaboration on the series, which is from Granada America.

Under the terms of the agreement being discussed, MTV is expected to pay for a role that includes a window to replay the series. 

The agreement would also call for MTV to be actively involved in the creative of the show, as well as being involved in cross-promotions with NBC.

NBC is stripping I’m a Celebrity over four weeks beginning June 1. The show will run Monday through Thursday at 8 p.m. for the first three weeks, and Monday through Wednesday at 8 its final week.

MTV is expected to run a mini-marathon of each week’s episodes on Sundays beginning June 7 after they have aired on NBC.  The MTV airings will also include exclusive footage and cast interviews in real time.

The partnership will also incorporate casting. NBC will announce the cast Friday at a press event in Los Angeles, with Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt of MTV’s The Hills expected to appear on the show. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was also set to compete, though a federal judge overseeing his trial shot that plan down Tuesday.

MTV and NBC have entered into innovative programming partnerships before. Last year the two networks teamed up to promote Quarterlife, the short lived NBC drama that started as a web series. MTV aired a 22 minute preview of the series in the afternoon, with promos directing viewers toward the broadcast network premiere later that evening.

The two networks also partnered last year on Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports. That partnership provides a slate of action sports competitions and events to be televised by the channels.

NBC continues to pursue creative production and scheduling deals as the broadcast model across the major networks continues to become increasingly stressed. Among NBC’s more eye-catching moves has been its partnership with DirecTV for Friday Night Lights, as well as its much talked about shifting of Jay Leno to 10 p.m. beginning this fall.

I’m a Celebrity, a very successful format in multiple international markets, is making its return to American network television after airing on ABC in 2003.

Reps from NBC, MTV and Granada America declined to comment for this story.