NBC sister studio sells scripts to ABC, CBS
NBCUniversal’s newly rechristened Universal Television unit has wasted no time meeting its goal of getting into business with other networks.Biz insiders confirmed late last week that Universal TV has notched its first script sales to non-Peacock outlets, setting up two comedies at ABC — one of which marks a reunion for “Party Down” alums Martin Starr and Ryan Hansen — and a drama at CBS. The deals mark a quick win for Universal TV exec veep Bela Bajaria, who started her new job just three weeks ago. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt recruited her from CBS in August with the intent of diversifying U TV’s roster of clients beyond NBCUniversal nets. The studio, formerly known as Universal Media Studios, has sold a comedy to the Alphabet from Joe and Anthony Russo (“Community”) and “The Office” writer Steve Hely called “The End of the World.” Script is about three brilliant scientists who make a shocking discovery, prompting their roguish friend to encourage them to live their lives to the fullest. The other ABC laffer, “I’m With Stupid,” is an odd-couple buddy comedy with Starr and Hansen attached to star. Justin Adler (“Better Off Ted”) and Starr are penning the script and will exec produce with Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan. Traugott and Kaplan are also onboard the drama set up at CBS, from scribe Mark Goffman (“The West Wing”), who will also exec produce. Script follows the inner workings of the FBI director as he handles both criminal cases and politics. Former Brillstein TV execs Traugott and Kaplan signed a three-year overall deal with Universal in June. The Russos signed on that same month, segueing from a deal at Sony Pictures Television. Universal TV declined comment on the script sales.