BBC Worldwide inks first-look deal with SPT

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide, the BBC's main commercial arm, has signed a three year,first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT) for scripted series in the US.

The deal gives SPT a first-look option to develop and produce scripted comedy and drama series for the US market based on BBC formats.

"This is a great opportunity to be working with the new management team at Sony's Television Studio and we look forward to developing exciting new projects with them in the future," says BBC Worldwide senior VP programming, Paul Telegdy.

"This deal reinforces BBC Worldwide's commitment to growing its production business in the US," addsTelegdy.

SPT co-president programming and production, Zack Van Amburg, adds, "We feel very fortunate to be in business with the BBC. We aspire to be innovative and the BBC, with its creative ingenuity, is a perfect partner for us."

According to media reports, BBC Worldwide plans to be actively involved in the development of as many as 25 projects under the deal with SPT, and the Corporation is moving away from the licensing model and more toward hands-on production in the lucrative US scripted series marketplace.

As part of that new strategy, BBC Worldwide is already producing the hit series Dancing with the Stars for ABC, although that show is not scripted, and reality series are apparently not included in the new deal.

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