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NBCU, BBC Team Up To Develop Unscripted Shows

Jane Lynch hosts NBC's 'Weakest Link'
NBC's 'The Weakest Link' is based on a BBC format (Image credit: Chris Haston/NBC)

BBC and NBCUniversal said they will work together to find and fund unscripted programming ideas they hope will have global appeal.

The venture will be open to U.K. based production companies and studios. The companies said they’ll look at a broad range of unscripted genres and will look to co-commission pilots for shows with series potential. 

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“This unique partnership is such an exciting opportunity for UK-based producers,” said Kate Phillips, director of entertainment, BBC Commissioning. “We want to lead the way in finding and investing in high impact, returnable British ideas and formats from all nations and regions, and this collaboration with NBCU will enable producers to develop their ideas at scale and win commissions on both sides of the Atlantic.”

BBC and NBCU have already share some unscripted series, with NBCU airing shows based on British ideas like The Wheel, The Weakest Link and Dragon’s Den.

On and off-screen diversity will form a significant part of the decision-making process, the companies said. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting + Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.