NBCU Unveils Unscripted Pitch Accelerator Initiative in Search for Company’s Next Hit Franchises (EXCLUSIVE)

NBCUniversal Launch, the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion home for entertainment television, unveiled its inaugural Unscripted Pitch Accelerator program.

The Unscripted Pitch Accelerator comes a year after NBCUniversal launched The Unscripted Producers Program initiative. Similarly, this aims provide independent creators and producers with an opportunity to pitch their concepts for unscripted series to NBCUniversal television executives. Its goal is to find the next hit unscripted franchises for the company’s entertainment television platforms, including Peacock, NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen True Crime and USA Network.

Creators are encouraged to submit pitches spanning various genres and formats, including shiny-floor/in-studio formats, competition formats, social experiments, dating/relationship formats, game shows, character-led docu-soaps, occu-soaps, lifestyle formats, true-crime series and premium documentary series. Up to five standout pitches will be awarded a $20,000 development deal with NBCU Entertainment, providing creators with the resources and support needed to refine their concepts for potential greenlight consideration.

“There’s an abundance of great show ideas in our industry. By expanding access to the TV pitch process to independent creators, our Unscripted Pitch Accelerator aims to unearth fresh perspectives and untapped talent who, in success, will ultimately shape the future of television,” said Jeanne Mau, Senior Vice President, TV Programming Diversity Equity & Inclusion, NBCUniversal, who oversees NBCU Launch “This new initiative, open to all, complements our existing unscripted inclusion efforts by empowering storytellers with the opportunity to develop the next great NBCU unscripted franchise and put them on the pathway to become prolific producers.”

Mau also spoke about the success of The Unscripted Producers initiative which has successfully placed 28 producers across 20 unscripted NBCU shows, including “The Real Housewives” franchise (Miami, New York and Salt Lake City), “Winter House,” “Sins of the South,” “Love Island Games,” “Password” and “American Ninja Warrior.”

“Our goal was to create opportunity and access for untapped talent in an area of our industry that has been underserved when it comes to inclusion efforts, and we are incredibly proud of the work we’ve accomplished in just a year.” Mau continued, “The Unscripted Producers Initiative is leaving an indelible mark on the careers of unscripted producers who have not previously worked on an NBCU series. The range of success stories is from a participant who got her first Co-Executive Producer credit while in the initiative and is working on her second, to a producer who has now worked on two subsequent seasons of ‘AGT’ after his time in the initiative.”

Corie Henson and Rachel Smith, executive vice presidents of unscripted content at NBCU Entertainment, said in a statement, “We’re continually looking for the next great series to join our long-lasting franchises such as ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ‘Deal or No Deal,’ ‘The Real Housewives’ and ‘Vanderpump Rules. With the NBCU Launch Unscripted Pitch Accelerator, we have the rare opportunity to expand our search to be inclusive of any creator with an original idea. We hope to not only find our next big hits, but also give talented producers their big break.”

The Unscripted Pitch Accelerator is the latest addition to their growing suite of inclusion initiatives in unscripted television, which includes the NBCU Launch Talent and Casting Assistant Program, NBCU Launch Below-the-Line Traineeship and NBCU Launch Production Assistant Initiative.

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