BuzzFeed is taking its first steps towards expanding its media outreach after it recently signed a first-look deal with Universal Television, as reported via a BuzzFeed article. Under the new deal, the NBCU studio will have the opportunity to develop and produce scripted series that are based on original content generated from BuzzFeed’s journalists.
As part of the deal, the first project the two companies will come together to work on will be inspired by the 2018 article “Meet the Women Who Are Building a Better Romance Industry” by Bim Adewunmi. Adewunmi’s article is centered around a group of Black women who are trying to change the romance industry from the inside by challenging the antiquated, predominately white narratives of who gets to fall in love.
The project will be written by Erika Green (How to Get Away with Murder, The Mentalist), and executive produced by Jenna Bans (Desperate Housewives), creator of NBC’s Good Girls, alongside BuzzFeed’s own Richard Alan Reid (The Criminal). Karolina Waclawiak (AWOL, Utopia Road) will co-executive produce and Charlotte Simms will serve as producer on the series.
In a statement made via BuzzFeed, Pearlena Igbokwe, president of Universal Television (a division of Universal Studio Group) had this to say about the partnership between the two entities: “Not only is BuzzFeed the go-to source for pop culture information, their reporting on a wide array of topics continues to break new ground[.] We’re looking forward to this dynamic new collaboration.”
“We are excited to join forces with UTV, an acclaimed studio with a proven track record producing series across network, cable and streaming platforms, to tap into vast portfolio of BuzzFeed IP and elevate underrepresented voices,” said Simms, TV development manager at Buzzfeed. “This partnership is the foundation for building a television presence for BuzzFeed with projects that leverage our global audiences, our award-winning journalism and engaging entertainment contents, and our ability to drive awareness at scale” (BuzzFeed).