NBC_to_Pay_for_Blocks_of_Programs

NBC_to_Pay_for_Blocks_of_Programs - NBC to Pay for Blocks...

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NBC to Pay for Blocks of Programs By BILL CARTER Published: December 3, 2007 © 2007 The New York Times NBC has made an ambitious deal, apparently the first of its kind, to buy a two-hour — or perhaps even three-hour — block of prime-time programming from outside producers, including Thom Beers, the creator of adventure documentary series like “Deadliest Catch” and “Ice Road Truckers.” Under the plan, NBC has agreed to broadcast at least two new hours produced by Mr. Beers back to back on a single night, with many more hours possible. The terms guarantee Mr. Beers and his partners 30 hours of programs on NBC — three separate 10- episode series. These 30 hours would come at a fraction of the cost of standard network scripted or reality programming, a factor that made the deal attractive to NBC. The project is not related to the current strike by Hollywood writers but the background forces are somewhat similar as networks struggle to revise their financial formulas to face a future of diminishing ratings and growing uncertainties about how the Internet will figure in viewers’ choices. The programs, which are all documentary in style, would not have staff writers. The principals in the arrangement are prominent television names, Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun, both former top network programmers, who created a production company that has what is known as a “first look” deal that gives NBC the first crack at buying their productions. Ms. Berman and Mr. Braun contracted with Mr. Beers to create the shows
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