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Pax Gets Peacock Makevoer

Look for an edgier, rebranded Pax TV to be pitched to advertisers in the spring.

NBC and Pax said today that the Peacock will be taking a stronger hand in programming at the network, helping it produce a raft of original shows and a branding "overhaul." NBC has a half-billion invested in the network, sells the bulk of its national spot inventory and runs Pax stations in markets where there is also an NBC O&O.

"This programming consultancy is the next step in our relationship with Pax," said Jeff Zucker, President, NBC Entertainment, News and Cable Group.

NBC Studios and NBC Entertainment will help Robert Word, Pax's new SVP, program development and production, develop a pair of game shows, four reality series and at least three scripted series. Specifically, NBC Entertainment SVP Sheraton Kalouria and NBC Entertainment Director of Development Narendra Reddy will consult with Pax on new programs.

Pax TV will continue to be free of foul language, gratuitous sex and excessive violence, said Seth Grossman, EVP and Chief Strategic Officer for the network. But it will be edgier, he says, and within those parameters, "anything goes." That includes a possible name change, though nothing has been decided.

NBC wants to broaden the network's viewer base to make it a more attractive buy for advertisers.

Pax TV cut back its original programming in 2002 when it looked to be clearing the decks for a sale. It signaled its intention to get back into the programming game just last month with the hiring of Word to ramp up program development and production.