NEW YORK: In a trailblazing deal, America's NBC television network has bought a two-to-three-hour block of primetime programming from an external producer - believed to be a 'first' for any of the big four networks.

In a deal with documentary program-maker Thom Beers, NBC has agreed to show at least two hours of new programming created by his company, airing them back-to-back on a single night.

In addition, the broadcaster has guaranteed Beers and his associates three separate 10-episode series - equivalent to thirty hours of prime airtime.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff