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BBC and NBCUniversal forge joint unscripted partnership for UK production companies

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The joint unscripted partnership will be open to all UK-based production companies and studios, maximizing the opportunities presented by the wide-ranging shared DNA of NBCUniversal and the BBC. Together, both parties will search for ambitious, platform-defining ideas with transatlantic potential, which will resonate across their respective linear and streaming platforms.

A broad range of unscripted genres will be considered, with a view to co-commission pilots or developments that have series potential. Both parties have agreed an aligned set of terms for UK producers, which are based on the BBC terms of trade. On and off-screen diversity will form a significant part of the decision-making process. An outline of the terms and process will be made available to all producers.

Kate Phillips, Director of Entertainment, BBC Commissioning, says: “This unique partnership is such an exciting opportunity for UK-based producers. 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.”

Jenny Groom, EVP, Entertainment Unscripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, says: “In such a competitive landscape, we love the idea of amplifying our audiences and creative output in partnership with the BBC. There is no better partner for NBCU and with Sharon Vuong and her team helping to lead the charge for us, we look forward to bringing the next great wave of unscripted formats to viewers across the globe.”

The joint unscripted partnership was developed by Syeda Irtizaali for BBC Entertainment and Ed Havard, VP, Creative Partnerships for Universal Studio Group, which is a division of NBCUniversal. Submissions will be overseen by BBC Entertainment Commissioners Pinki Chambers and Neil McCallum, and Sharon Vuong and Ed Havard for NBCUniversal. It represents a world-first opportunity for UK-based producers to develop at scale for a unique broadcaster alliance, based on a shared set of values and a joint commitment to growing the next generation of unscripted hits.

The BBC and NBCUniversal already share success with several hit unscripted brands and formats. Recent examples include The Wall, The Wheel, The Weakest Link and Dragon’s Den, and the new development partnership builds on this track record of success.

A joint BBC & NBCUniversal briefing session will be announced in due course, which will give content creators an opportunity to hear more.