In Depth

NBC Looks to Adapt British ‘News’ for U.S.

NBC is closing in on a deal with the United Kingdom’s Hat Trick Productions to bring the long-running BBC panel show “Have I Got News for You” to the United States.

According to two people familiar with the conversations, NBC is in advanced talks with producer Jimmy Mulville’s Hat Trick to produce a pilot for a U.S. version of “News.” The U.K. series has been airing since 1990, with more than 200 episodes produced.

“News” features two teams of celebrities and newsmakers humorously trying to answer questions about current events and politics. The show makes heavy use of film and TV clips, as well as tabloid headlines, and features participants riffing on the week’s events.

NBC declined comment on its plans for “News,” but it seems likely the network will make some changes to the show’s format in order to make it fit with the big “event” feel seen in most primetime reality shows.

Paul Telegdy, NBC’s new head of alternative programming, has made it clear that he wants to develop more unscripted series with comedic elements, and “News” fits into that mold. Other upcoming NBC reality projects with potential for laughs include the Jerry Seinfeld-produced series “The Marriage Ref” and the summer relaunch of “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.”

One comedy-based reality series that does not appear to be in NBC’s immediate future is “Last Comic Standing,” which was left off the network’s recently announced summer schedule.