BermanBraun renews NBC Uni pact

First-look deal for 'Mercy' producers extended for three years

Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun have renewed their first-look deal with NBC Universal for three more years.

Under the pact, the duo's BermanBraun will continue to operate as a separate label within the conglom, giving NBC Uni's television divisions first crack at their development.

Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal TV Entertainment, called Berman and Braun, former top broadcast executives, "one of the best producing teams in the business."

Added NBC/UMS president of primetime entertainment Angela Bromstad, "They a rare team of true producers and executives who understand what it takes to make great programming."

The BermanBraun extension marks the first major talent pact for NBC following last week's announcement of NBC Universal's acquisition by Comcast.

The uncertainty associated with any ownership change as well as NBC's decision to cut its number of scripted series by stripping "The Jay Leno Show" at 10 p.m. were not a factor in Berman and Braun's decision to reup their deal.

"Our first choice was to stay at NBC," Braun said. "We have a great relationship with the network and we have an enormous amount of faith in the leadership that is now in place."

Added Berman: "We hope to be able to support NBC with our development as they are rebuilding their schedule." 

On NBC, BermanBraun produces "Mercy," which has been picked up for a full season.

Additionally, the company is shooting the NBC dramedy pilot "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer," starring David Tennant and Jeffrey Tambor, and is gearing up production on the Zak Penn-written drama pilot "Alphas" for NBC Uni's Syfy.

Outside NBC Uni, BermanBraun produces the CBS freshman comedy series "Accidentally on Purpose," which also received an order for additional episodes -- though neither "Accidentally" nor "Mercy" have been break-out hits -- as well as reality series "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" for MTV.

On the development side, the company has several scripts in contention at NBC as well as the Jenny Bicks-penned comedy "Modern Love" at HBO. BermanBraun's development is being shepherded by veteran producer Gene Stein.

The company also has been very active on the Web, launching MSN's successful celebrity site Wonderwall earlier this year and recently announcing a second, lifestyle-focused online venture with MSN.

Ex-Paramount Pictures president Gail Berman and former Yahoo! Media Group chief Lloyd Braun launched BermanBraun in early 2007 when they signed their first first-look deal with NBC Uni.