As TV execs continue to hunt for the next big reality hit, NBCUniversal International Television Production is supercharging its unscripted business. The group has launched a dedicated unscripted development unit to be overseen by SVP of factual and entertainment, David Mortimer. The focus will be on creating big entertainment formats for the global market. The division will be made up of two complimentary teams, one focused on so-called “shiny floor entertainment shows,” and the other on returnable high-end factual entertainment formats. The in-house unit will exist alongside unscripted production companies Monkey Kingdom and Chocolate Media in the UK, Matchbox Pictures in Australia and Lark Productions in Canada. Mortimer, a former BBC exec who joined NBCUniversal in May, has a track record that includes Dragons’ Den, Great Britons, The Weakest Link and The Office. He’s bullish on NBCU’s investment in development, saying, “We are determined to be the home of the next big international format hit, and see the UK as the engine that drives our international television business.” Among the group’s credits are Monkey Kingdom’s Made In Chelsea which won a BAFTA for Best Reality and Constructed Factual program this year. The UK’s Channel 4 has commissioned a further three series of the show. In the U.S., Monkey also recently secured a re-commission of Newlyweds from Bravo, with a UK version to air on Sky Living in 2014. It’s also got Trust Me, I’m A Game Show Host currently running on TBS. Matchbox Pictures’ Real Housewives Of Melbourne is in production for air on Foxtel in early 2014. NBCUniversal International Television Production’s in-house labels also include drama producer Carnival Films (Downton Abbey) and comedy producer Lucky Giant (Family Tree).
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