'I'm a Celebrity …' get me NBC

Telegdy eyes another U.S. version of Granada America reality show

NBC is looking to adapt the hit British series "I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!"

The network is in negotiations with Granada America for another stateside reincarnation of the U.K. format, first tackled by ABC six years ago when it launched a short-lived U.S. version.

Details on the potential NBC version of "Celebrity" remain under wraps. The U.K. original has celebrities living in harsh tropical conditions and competing in challenges to earn such rewards as food and other basic comforts. One by one, the players are evicted.

NBC is said to be looking at a summer launch for the Granada-produced "Celebrity," which is expected to receive an order for at least a dozen episodes. Sources said the network is considering running the show as a weekday strip, like it runs in the U.K.

The reality show is right in the wheelhouse of Brit Paul Telegdy, NBC's new president of alternative. The former head of BBC Worldwide Prods. was behind the U.S. adaptation of another U.K. reality hit with ABC's "Dancing With the Stars." At NBC, he recently greenlighted another U.K. format, the genealogy show "Who Do You Think You Are?"

ABC's 2003 version of "Celebrity" came in the wake of CBS' game-changing success with "Survivor." Comparisons between the shows plagued the ABC launch, resulting in CBS filing an unsuccessful lawsuit claiming copyright infringement. Also, U.S. audiences were used to casts of relatable unknowns in broadcast reality competition series, which were emphasizing real-life intensity, while U.K. audiences already had embraced the lighter mixture of celebrities and reality contests with "Celebrity Big Brother."

Since then, "Celebrity" has spread internationally and remained one of the most popular reality shows in the U.K. Its most recent eighth season on ITV delivered the franchise's highest ratings since 2005. Meanwhile, such celebrity-stocked unscripted fare as "Dancing" and "Celebrity Apprentice" has gained acceptance in the U.S. (partialdiff)
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