BBC toots Reveille skeins

Deal with U to yield up to six projects a year

LONDON — The BBC has inked a two-year deal with Universal Studios’ L.A.-based film and TV shingle Reveille to develop drama and comedy, after six months of talks.

Partnership will look to develop up to six projects a year. Reveille, led by Ben Silverman, is already producing a U.S. version of the BBC’s comedy “Coupling” for U.S. network NBC.

The Beeb insists deal won’t hamper its existing partnership with U.S. talent and literary agency William Morris, which has helped sell BBC reality shows and gameshows such as “Weakest Link” into the U.S.

Thanks to William Morris, the Beeb is piloting three new shows on CBS, NBC and ABC this year including “The Sack Show,” in which a hidden camera follows employees who must try to get sacked by 3 p.m. on their first day in the job.

BBC Worldwide’s exports to the U.S. grew 25% to £91 million ($151 million) last year.

Silverman was traveling Monday, making him unavailable for comment, while a representative for Universal was unable to elaborate on the deal.

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