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NBCUniversal International TV Launching Unscripted Unit

The divisions new unit will be charged with developing and creating new properties -- with a dual focus on flashy reality shows and high-end nonfiction.

NBCUniversal International Television Production is making a push into unscripted programming. Division president Michael Edelstein announced Wednesday that the group has launched a dedicated unscripted development unit.

Recruitment is underway for who will staff the new department, but it is being overseen by SVP of factual and entertainment, David Mortimer.

“By making a significant investment into development, we’re supercharging our unscripted television business," said Mortimer. "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. I believe that our unique approach to self-funded development will broker a more collaborative relationship with the broadcasters when piloting new ideas. Most of all, I’m looking forward to making some ground-breaking television.”

Charged with developing and creating new unscripted efforts housed at NBCUniversal, the unit will have a dual focus on flashy realty shows, a la The Voice and Dancing With the Stars, as well as high-end factual formats.

The unit joins fellow in-house unscripted production companies Monkey Kingdom and Chocolate Media in the UK, Matchbox Pictures in Australia and Lark Productions in Canada -- the latter of which has a strategic partnership with International Television Production.

News comes at the end of a good year for NBCUniversal International's unscripted efforts. Monkey Kingdom production Made in Chelsea, recently renewed in the UK by Channel 4, won a BAFTA for best reality program.

Mortimer joined NBCUniversal in May, most recently serving as managing director of independent production company Fever Media. He's also a 15-year veteran of the BBC.