NBC Uni mining Canada for TV concepts

Teams with Jewison center on content creator program

TORONTO -- NBC Universal is getting into business with Norman Jewison's Canadian Film Center in to find the next, best TV concept from the Great White North.

The NBC Uni content creator program, to launch in the fall in Toronto, will see Jewison's film and TV school sort through innovative ideas from Canadian TV producers, presenting the best of the lot for possible development.

"We welcome this promising opportunity to work with the CFC to open new horizons for our Canadian partners and create viable original content," said Angela Bromstad, president of primetime entertainment at NBC and Universal Media Studios.

NBC Uni executives said the studio will cast a wide net initially for half-hour and hourlong scripted and unscripted programming from Canadian producers. Eventually, the partnership could encompass ideas for feature films.

Emerging Canadian talent with original concepts chosen by the CFC and NBC Uni will participate in forums and workshops with studio executives to learn the finer points of network series storytelling, pitching and packaging.

The announcement is timed to coincide with an April 16 tribute to Jewison at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The move also comes as NBC Uni and other U.S. studios increasingly do international series co-productions with Canadians and other foreign producer partners.

NBC Universal executives said that Canadian producers have spawned a host of innovative TV formats and original series in recent years, and the CFC is now giving the U.S. studio a formal way to cherry-pick the best in Canadian TV.

The Canadian-made drama "The Listener," which NBC acquired for its summer primetime schedule, was produced by Shaftesbury Films' Christina Jennings, a CFC graduate.
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