Duo extend beauty pageant joint venture

Miss America may be homeless, but the nets haven’t completely soured on beauty pageants.

Monday, NBC and Donald Trump extended their beauty pageant joint venture by three more years.

The recent uptick in ratings for high-profile TV events such as Sunday’s Academy Awards could help bring more attention to brand-name pageants, including Miss America, which is being shopped to net and cable buyers after TLC cut it loose.

NBC’s pact with Trump, who hosts the Peacock’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” and the Miss Universe Organization keeps both Miss USA and Miss Universe on the Peacock through 2013.

Deal includes the continued pact to air Spanish-dubbed coverage of the pageants on NBC-owned Telemundo (which also runs a lead-in special, “Camino a la Corona”). The extension was announced by NBC Universal TV Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin, as well as Donald Trump and Miss Universe Organization prexy Paula M. Shugart.

“There’s been renewed interest in this series of beauty pageants, especially among a new generation of younger viewers,” said Paul Telegdy, exec veep of alternative programming and production at NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

Trump enthused, “There are very few live worldwide broadcasts that come close to competing with Miss USA and Miss Universe.”

The 2010 Miss USA Pageant airs live on NBC at 7 p.m. May 16. Event will be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

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