Bela Bajaria’s hire marked the reestablishment
of Universal Television
(formerly Universal Media Studios) as a
stand-alone entity, and the former CBS
exec is tasked with making the studio
a leading supplier for all the television
networks, not just NBC. NBC Entertainment
chairman Bob Greenblatt handpicked Bajaria based on their
previous working relationship when she created and ran the cable division
of CBS TV Studios and headed movies/miniseries at the network.
Under Bajaria’s entrepreneurial leadership, NBC has picked up six
comedy and seven drama pilots from the studio—including a hospital
drama from Friday Night Lights creator Jason Katims and an adaptation
of U.K. comedy Friday Night Dinner from The Office boss Greg Daniels.
Universal has also sold comedy projects from high-profile talents Mindy
Kaling and Louis C.K./Spike Feresten to Fox and CBS, respectively.
Beyond pilot season, Bajaria looks to turn Universal into a thriving
studio and create hits for the struggling NBC.