NBC Keeps on Truckin' With Innovative Reality Package

Network buys prime time block of action shows - with no staff writers
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2007 4:40 AM CST
President and CEO of NBC Jeff Zucker, left, and his wife Karen at NBC's 2007-2008 fall preview Monday, May 14, 2007 in New York. Zucker has agreed to buy a prime time programming block of reality action...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Writers? Who needs writers? NBC is about to buy a two- or three-hour block of prime time programming featuring unscripted documentary style action shows from the producers of “Ice Road Truckers" and the "Deadliest Catch." The programs don't need staff writers, cost a fraction of standard television dramas, and can readily move to other platforms, such as internet podcasts and DVD.

It's believed to be the first deal of its kind. The programs are extremely popular on cable, with the finale of "Truckers," featuring rigs driven across a frozen lake, drawing 5 million viewers to the History Channel. “It's just about all I watch," said one of the producers of the action reality genre. In the past, networks have contracted for blocks of children's programming on Saturday mornings but haven't yet arrranged anything similar for prime time.