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U expanding reality

TV arm inks deal with 'Spaces' producer

Universal Domestic Television has inked a multiyear overall development deal with “Trading Spaces” exec producer Denise L. Cramsey.

Cramsey, who came aboard “Spaces” during season two, will be responsible for creating and developing lifestyle reality programming for firstrun syndication, network primetime and cable. “Spaces” is credited for vaulting TLC into the top 10 among basic cable nets.

Cramsey will report to Los Angeles-based exec VP of programming and development Lisa Hackner.

“I’m very excited to be at Universal because it’s a larger stage for this kind of format,” Cramsey said. “I think the power of these shows doesn’t fall into a certain time of day, so my goal is to hit as many arenas as possible,” she added.

Reality big

“Our feeling is that (lifestyle reality programming) is the next evolution, and Denise has already proven that she can produce product on a smaller cable network,” UDT prexy Steve Rosenberg said.

Cramsey’s longstanding relationship with TLC began in 1995 when she produced the unscripted series “Medical Detectives,” centered on the crime-solving capabilities of forensic science. At Banyan Prods. she served as senior producer of TLC’s “Gimme Shelter.” She went on to exec produce “A Baby Story” and a season of “A Wedding Story” before moving to “Spaces.”

Lifestyle reality programming in the vein of “Spaces” is virtually untapped on broadcast and syndication, Hackner noted. “We do want to build this format within the studio, and we think Denise is the right person to start up this area for us,” Hackner said.

UTA-repped Cramsey began her TV career as an assistant assignment editor at independent station WFMZ Allentown, Penn. She later produced syndicated news health packages for Medstar TV.