Network makes big reality push with new development deals
In a big push for reality programming, NBC announced new overall development deals with top producers from shows including "The Bachelor," "Fear Factor," "The Biggest Loser," and "The Voice."
Jason Ehrlich (ABC's "The Bachelor," and "The Bachelorette"), David A. Hurwitz (NBC's "Fear Factor"), Alex Katz (NBC's "The Biggest Loser") and Lee Metzger (NBC's "The Voice") will join previously signed NBC producers.
Those producers include Howie Mandel, a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent," and his Alvey Productions (Fox's "Mobbed"). They also include Tom Shelly (NBC's "Love in the Wild," CBS's "Survivor"), Craig Plestis (NBC's "Minute to Win It") and Jason Raff ( "America's Got Talent").
"These progressive development deals allow us to partner with an array of stellar producers, such as Jason Ehrlich, David Hurwitz, Alex Katz and Lee Metzger, who are proven leaders in alternative programming and provide NBC with tremendous creative resources," said Paul Telegdy, NBC's president of alternative and late night programming. "We also are thrilled to celebrate our current relationships with Howie Mandel, Tom Shelly, Craig Plestis and Jason Raff. We have stacked the deck and look forward to continuing to work with all of these incredibly talented individuals."
Reality programming has been a bright spot in NBC's lineup as it tries to rise from fourth-place in the ratings. Its hit "The Voice" has vied with Fox's "American Idol" for the top-rated show of the season. ("Idol" recently retook the top ratings spot.) Metzger is an executive producer of "The Voice."
Ehrlich, previously a co-executive producer for "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette" and "Bachelor Pad," will be the executive producer of NBC's upcoming relationship show "Ready for Love," with executive producer Eva Longoria ("Desperate Housewives"). Katz, a co-executive producer for "The Biggest Loser" and veteran of Fox's "Hell's Kitchen," ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," will also executive produce "Ready for Love."
As for the previosuly signed producers, Mandel's Alevy Productions will produce the new NBC game show "Howie Mandel's White Elephant," in which six contestants will select one package from a collection of wrapped gifts containing millions of dollars in prizes.
Shelly, meanwhile, serves as executive producer on NBC's "Love in the Wild."
Plestis is the president and CEO of Smart Dog Media, which has an in-house deal with Universal Television, working with NBC and the cable networks Bravo, Oxygen, Syfy, and USA Network.
Raff helped launch the top-rated summer series "America's Got Talent" in 2006 and has been with the show for all seven seasons. His other shows have included the 2008 dating show "Momma's Boys."
Pictured: (l-r) Lee Metzger, Jason Ehrlich, Alex Katz, David A. Hurwitz, Howie Mandel, Tom Shelly, Craig Plestis, Jason Raff (Paul Drinkwater/NBC)