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NBC Universal spins off cable studio

NBC Universal is launching its own dedicated production studio for cable programming, splitting Universal Media Studios into two separate companies.

The subsidiary, which will be run by cable networks boss Bonnie Hammer, will produce programming specifically for USA Network and Sci Fi as well as the Chiller, Sleuth and Universal HD channels.

It will oversee current shows including detective series Monk, sci fi mainstay Battlestar Galactica and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, which recently moved from the main network to USA.

The move is significant as it signals the first major original production unit dedicated to cable programming. It comes as the cable networks ramp up their production of original series.

Universal Media Studios will still be overseen by Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff as well as president Katherine Pope.