Elisabeth Murdoch seeks 'Ugly Betty'

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Shine, the independent TV production company set up by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert, is in exclusive talks to buy the production company behind 'Ugly Betty' for 97m.

A deal would put 'Spooks', 'Hustle' and 'Life on Mars' in the same stable as 'The Tudors', and catapult the business Ms Murdoch started seven years ago into the same league as rivals Endemol and Talkback Thames.

If the transatlantic talks are successful, it would involve Shine acquiring Reveille. Reports suggest the two companies have been in discussions for some weeks, but the deal funding is unclear. Shine already counts Sony and 3i as investors.

The "indie" has a track record of bolt-on acquisitions, having bought Kudos and Princess Productions last year.

LA-based Reveille was founded by Ben Silverman, who was recently appointed NBC's head of entertainment, which precludes him from profiting from future Reveille projects and may explain the sale talks.