Weinberg back at NBC Uni with a first-look deal

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Former NBC executive vp programming Teri Weinberg is launching a production company, Yellow Brick Road, which has inked a two-year, first-look deal with NBC Universal.

The seven- figure pact gives NBC and NBC Uni's cable networks first crack at Weinberg's projects. As part of the deal, she also has joined NBC's new drama series "The Philanthropist" as an exec producer.

Weinberg stepped down from her NBC post as part of the major executive restructuring at NBC in December, when the scripted operations of the network and its sister studio were merged under newly appointed Angela Bromstad.

The deal marks a return to producing for Weinberg.

After a stint as a talent agent at ICM, she joined Ben Silverman at the inception of his Reveille production banner in 2002 and helped establish the company's scripted division with series "The Office," "Ugly Betty" and "The Tudors."

"She is a fantastic producer," said NBC co-chair Silverman, who brought Weinberg when he left Reveille to join the net in 2007. "She loves fighting for and defending creative people's point of view, and I think she will be successful."

As for the fact that the two of them will be at the opposite sides of the table for the first time — with Weinberg as a seller and he as a buyer — "I'm glad we have her exclusively," Silverman quipped.

These days, Weinberg is spending her time assembling a team for the company — which will be based on the Universal lot — juggling her four series (she serves as a co-exec producer on "The Office" and exec producer on "Betty," "Tudors" and "Philanthropist") and helping with the pilots she had put in development at NBC as part of the network's transition to the new regime.

Her passion for one of the projects she developed at NBC, "Philanthropist," coupled with the fact that Bromstad, who used to oversee production of the series out of NBC Uni's London office, is back at the network, led to Weinberg's exec producer gig on "Philanthropist." The drama, shot in South Africa and Prague, stars James Purefoy as a billionaire who helps people.

Weinberg believes that the series couldn't be more relevant. "With the new president coming in and putting us all to task to step up and help each other, the central character on the show exemplifies that," she said.

For the name of her first company, Weinberg turned to her favorite childhood movie, "The Wizard of Oz."

"I used to always fantasize that the road was infinite," she said. "For me, it's a road that leads to where you hope it takes you."

"The Office" creator/exec producer Greg Daniels praised Weinberg for her work launching that Emmy-winning series.

"She is totally fun to have at your side during the long hours of the process, and is on top of every detail," he said. "Anyone would be lucky to have her as a producing partner."

Weinberg's year-and-a-half tenure at NBC was rocky, but she said she has no regrets. "I come out stronger, smarter and wellrounded," she said.

And while she once left producing to join the network executive ranks, the move back probably is permanent.

"I hope to be producing for the rest of my career," Weinberg said. "I'd love to produce movies and want to be across all platforms."

She is repped by attorney David Fox. (partialdiff)
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