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Yahoo signs pact with reality-TV producer

In an increasingly rare collaboration with Hollywood, Yahoo Inc. has signed a production deal with the company behind such reality shows as "Temptation Island" and "Joe Millionaire."
/ Source: Reuters

In an increasingly rare collaboration with Hollywood, Yahoo Inc. has signed a production deal with the company behind such reality shows as "Temptation Island" and "Joe Millionaire."

The Web behemoth's nonexclusive first-look pact with Rocket Science Laboratories will likely focus on shortform video that offers a degree of interactivity. The companies also are examining the possibility of migrating whatever content the deal yields back to the television platform. Neither would disclose any current projects being developed.

After former ABC Entertainment chief Lloyd Braun joined Yahoo in 2004, the company boosted its efforts to produce original programming. But even before Braun's ouster in late 2006, Yahoo had shifted its energies elsewhere.

Yahoo does have two other deals with production companies: Embassy Row, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" producer Michael Davies' shingle responsible for Yahoo daily series "The 9," and Gotham Group, an animation specialist that has projects in development but no active programming on the site.

After more than a year of company missteps, Yahoo is struggling to chart a new strategy in the face of competition for its biggest advertisers from other sites offering graphical display ads.

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang took over as CEO in June, replacing former Warner Bros. chief Terry Semel, and pledged to come up with a new plan within 100 days.

Yahoo's results have disappointed investors in five of the last six quarters, prompting the company's shares to drop more than 30 percent since the start of 2006. It has frequently been the target of merger speculation.

Rocket Science, meanwhile, ended an exclusive overall production deal with Fox last year. It continues to stay busy on the TV side, with "Bull Run" up next for Spike TV, as well as "If Women Ruled the World" for Fox.