Steve Carell makes foray into TV prod'n

New Carousel Prods. unit inks deal at UMS

Dunder Mifflin branch manager Michael Scott is branching out into TV producing.

"The Office" star Steve Carell has launched a television division of his Carousel Prods., which has inked a three-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios, the studio behind his NBC comedy series.

Thom Hinkle and Campbell Smith of North South Prods., former producers on Carell's alma mater, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," have been tapped to run Carousel's TV operations.

Carell, who also writes for "Office" and is a producer on the show, is said to be serious about expanding into TV producing.

The pact with Carousel marks one of the first major talent deals for NBC's new president of primetime entertainment Angela Bromstad, who oversees the network and studio. During her previous stint as president of UMS predecessor NBC Universal TV Studios, she developed and launched "Office" and was one of its staunchest supporters during the show's low-rated early days.

Also said to be instrumental in the deal is NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman, who executive produces "Office."