BuzzFeed Inks First-Look Deal With Universal TV

Pearlena Igbokwe
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Pearlena Igbokwe

The media company will develop projects based on its stories and original reporting.

BuzzFeed is expanding its media reach.

The company has signed a first-look deal with Universal Television to develop scripted series projects based on its content and original reporting from its journalists. The first project under the deal is inspired by Bim Adewunmi's 2018 story, "Meet the Women Who Are Building a Better Romance Industry."

"Not only is BuzzFeed the go-to source for pop culture information, their reporting on a wide array of topics continues to break new ground," said Pearlena Igbokwe, president of Universal Studio Group's Universal TV. "We're looking forward to this dynamic new collaboration."

Adewunmi's story focused on a group of Black women trying to change the romance industry from the inside by challenging the old, predominantly white narratives of who gets to fall in love. Erika Green (New Amsterdam) will adapt the story, with Jenna Bans (Good Girls) executive producing. BuzzFeed's Richard Alan Reid will also exec produce, with Karolina Waclawiak as co-executive producer and Charlotte Simms as producer.

"We are excited to join forces with UTV, an acclaimed studio with a proven track record producing series across network, cable and streaming platforms, to tap into the vast portfolio of BuzzFeed IP and elevate underrepresented voices,” said Simms, BuzzFeed's TV development manager. "This partnership is the foundation for building a television presence for BuzzFeed with projects that leverage our global audiences, our award-winning journalism and engaging entertainment content, and our ability to drive awareness at scale."