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Net may part ways with BermanBraun, Original

NBC may be parting ways with BermanBraun and Original Prods. on the three nonscripted skeins that were ordered more than a year ago as part of a larger pact between the Peacock and the production shingles.

BermanBraun and Original are in the process of quietly shopping the shows — “Shark Taggers,” “Swords” and “Tornado Roads” — to other prospective buyers, including the cablers Discovery and History.

It’s understood that NBC’s newly appointed reality chief, Paul Telegdy, has indicated that he’d like to settle out of the BermanBraun/Original pact in favor of focusing on new development, though for now, NBC insiders maintain the net still intends to air the shows at some point.

The deal struck in December 2007 with NBC was an effort to transport some of Beers’ success with guy-friendly shows like Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” and History’s “Ice Road Truckers” to the Peacock’s Saturday-night lineup (Daily Variety, Dec. 3, 2007).

The goal back then was for BermanBraun, which has a first-look pact with NBC Universal, and Original to eventually program NBC’s entire Saturday-night sked with lower-cost nonscripted skeins that would appeal to a male aud on what is a low-traffic night for all nets.

But the Saturday game plan changed last fall when the Peacock opted to give the first of the Original shows, “America’s Toughest Jobs,” a big promo push during the Summer Olympics and a late August debut in a Friday timeslot. “Jobs” wound up delivering underwhelming numbers, even by Friday-night standards, amid the network’s broader slump.

Since then, NBC has held off skedding the remaining three shows, which are now in the can. The Peacock has already paid for six episodes of “Shark Taggers” and “Tornado Roads” and eight segs of “Swords,” which revolves around deep sea fishing.

Reps for BermanBraun, Original and NBC declined comment.

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