ABC and HBO Enter Joint Development Deal

ABC is contracting with HBO in a two-year deal where HBO will develop and produce series programming for the network.

HBO Independent Productions (HIP) is already responsible for such broadcast network shows as "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Martin." ABC will get the first look at new programming developed by HIP, and if the network chooses not to acquire a show, HIP can take it to the other networks. In return, ABC will provide development funding, regardless of whether it picks up a program, and deficit financing for pilots and series on or off ABC. ABC will retain distribution rights and copyrights for programming created through the association.

HBO has a solid track record for its television productions, earning 93 Emmy nominations this year, more than any of the broadcast networks. Its hits include "The Sopranos," "Sex and the City" and "Six Feet Under."